Semi-truck collisions are among the most complex of all injury cases. In addition to the varied state laws that truckers and trucking companies are subject to, there exists a body of federal regulations known as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) created by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). These regulations cover a wide range of restrictions and obligations, from limitations on cell phone usage while driving to duties a driver must perform regularly both before and during a haul.
One key difference this body of law creates between standard automobile accidents and semi-truck accidents is a separate level of required insurance. Because the damages of a semi-truck collision can be so devastating, as of January 1985, the FMCSA requires that all truckers carry a minimum of $750,000 of liability insurance. This standard can vary, depending on employer, area of operation, and cargo, to up to $5,000,000 of coverage.
Further complicating semi-truck collisions is physics: most tractor-trailers can haul up to 80,000 pounds of cargo, without even factoring in the weight of the truck itself. The weight of the cargo a vehicle carries can drastically change its maximum speed and stopping distance. These variables have to be precisely accounted for, and often require the expertise of professional physicists or accident reconstructionists to gain a full understanding of the case.
If federal regulation, insurance law, and physics weren’t already enough, there’s another complicating factor in semi-truck collisions: crash teams. A crash team’s only purpose is to examine the evidence of a collision and find any reason or excuse to prove the trucker’s innocence. Most companies will provide their drivers with explicit instructions to contact their crash team immediately after a collision so that the team can get a head start on protecting them from liability. This stacks the odds against you even more than in a typical collision.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a semi-truck collision, it’s vital that you contact our office immediately. There are a number of parties that could be liable for your losses, including the truck driver and employer. Each of them will take every measure to prevent being held accountable for the accident. Get the experience and extensive knowledge of the Easter Law Firm on your side, and together we’ll fight to ensure you are compensated by all responsible parties. Contact our office to set up a free consultation to discuss your case.