Protecting Your Legal Rights After an 18-Wheeler Accident
While many people call all large trucks “tractor trailers,” or “18-wheelers,” the terms actually refer to very specific types of vehicles. A tractor trailer is a two-part truck consisting of a cab (called a tractor) and a trailer. The trailer is hooked behind the tractor in order to haul freight. Typically, the tractor will have either six or 10 wheels. An 18-wheeler refers to a 10-wheeled tractor hauling an 8-wheeled trailer.
The two-part construction of these vehicles is one reason that personal injury claims following tractor trailer accidents are so complex. It is typical for one party to own the cab and another to own the trailer, while still another party may lease the entire vehicle for shipment of its goods. The driver may be an employee of or an independent contractor for one or more of these companies. This forces the victims of the accident to conduct in-depth investigations to find every potentially responsible party.
Thorough and Extensive Preparation in Tractor Trailer and 18-Wheeler Cases
Victims of major truck accidents deserve legal advice and representation by attorneys with significant past experience negotiating and litigating tractor trailer accident cases. At Greenberg & Stone, our tractor trailer accident lawyers know what issues matter and how to prepare thoroughly for trial to protect our clients’ rights in the aftermath of a devastating accident. We are an AV-rated* law firm with a nationwide law practice and the ability to travel anywhere in the country to provide legal representation following an 18-wheeler accident.
Along with our Rapid Response Team, we begin preparing for trial from the beginning of every case, taking steps to help our clients achieve the best possible results in truck accident litigation:
- We obtain training manuals and safety manuals from the trucking companies to determine whether the truck and its driver were abiding all trucking safety rules and regulations.
- We access personnel files and medical files, searching them for past accident histories, recent work logs, substance abuse and other items that would show a driver was unqualified to operate a commercial vehicle.
- We request corporate records to determine ownership and employment relationships to identify all potential defendants.
- We research the maintenance records for the truck and trailer involved. When were the tires inspected? When were the brakes checked? When was the engine serviced?
- We access driver logs and event data recorders often called “black boxes.” This can give us a snapshot into what the truck was doing, and what was going on in the driver’s mind right before impact.
- We take pictures of the semi truck crash scene, documenting skid marks and debris. We use this information to determine the speed of the vehicles before impact.
- We analyze tractor trailer accident statistics for the road where the accident occurred to help determine if dangerous conditions on the road helped contribute to the accident.
If you have been injured in a tractor trailer accident, you should know that insurance company claims adjusters often start work immediately after an accident — often before police arrive on the scene. Even before any truck accident lawsuit is filed, they prepare for litigation.
Learn More About Greenberg & Stone
We encourage you to learn more about our law firm, our attorneys, and our past successes on behalf of semi truck accident victims. To speak to us directly, call toll free 888-499-9700. Our headquarters are in Florida, and we handle cases nationwide through a network of associate law firms.
* AV Preeminent and BV Distinguished are certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the confidential opinions of members of the Bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell ratings fall into two categories — legal ability and general ethical standards.