The truck accident attorneys at Rubin Guttman & Associates understand that semi-truck accidents are different from car accidents, for a lot of reasons. The first reason it is that semi-trucks are simply bigger. The average car may weigh anywhere from about 2,600 pounds for a Honda Accord to 3,300 pounds for a Chevy Malibu. Even a Cadillac Escalade, which may weigh 6,000 pounds or so, is completely outweighed and outgunned by a loaded semi truck and trailer which may be 80 feet long and weigh as much as 80,000 pounds! So the physical forces coming at you when you get hit by a semi-truck are many times the force of being hit by another car. Our Cleveland semi-truck accident lawyers have seen the tragic consequences of these crashes.
What makes a truck a “semi-truck or a “semi?” The front part, where the driver sits, is actually called the “tractor” or “cab” and the back portion, where the load sits, is called a “semi-trailer.” It’s called a semi-trailer because it only has wheels on the rear and must be attached to the back of the tractor or cab for support in order to roll on the road.
Semi trucks and their trailers are also “hinged” in order to allow the driver to turn the vehicle and to maneuver it into narrow alleys and loading docks. Because they are hinged, when a driver stops short or loses control, the trailer may “jackknife” which may result in a loaded trailer being slammed into your car, pinning or crushing your car against the cab, trailer or another vehicle. The truck and the semi-trailer can sometimes separate, making the trailer into a loaded missile, slamming into nearby vehicles. A trailer which is not properly balanced when loaded or whose load shifts due to improper bracing may tip over, crushing a nearby car and its passengers without warning.
Trucks may also carry toxic or hazardous liquids or poisonous gases, which may cause grievous harm when they spill onto nearby cars or their fumes are inhaled by the occupants of nearby vehicles.
When a truck cuts off a car’s right of way, or the trailer jackknifes in front of the truck, your car may “underride” or drive under the raised portion of the trailer. This can cause catastrophic injuries or wrongful death to the car’s occupants to their heads and upper bodies and not just the car are slammed into the trailer or an exposed fuel tank.Finding Out Who's Responsible
Finding the responsible parties for a truck accident isn’t always easy or straight forward. At Rubin Guttman & Associates, our Cleveland semi-truck accident attorneys know how to find those at fault. A driver may work for a different company than the name shown on the side of the tractor or the trailer. And finding the driver’s employer may help prove who was responsible for making sure that the driver followed all of the state and federal safety rules, such as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act and various Ohio laws, rules and regulations.
Truck maintenance and driver fatigue may also play roles in causing a truck accident. Only by getting the driver’s logs and the owner’s maintenance records can we begin to discover whether a truck accident was caused by driver fatigue, negligent maintenance, trailer load imbalance or overloading, to name just some of the possible causes.
Because trucks are so big and the forces they unleash are so strong, truck accidents often cause catastrophic injuries like traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, paralysis or wrongful death.Experience Counts
Serving people in Cleveland and beyond, the semi-truck accident attorneys at Rubin Guttman and Associates LPA have decades of experience with truck accidents and other serious injury cases. We have the financial, legal and other resources to handle complex truck accident cases and get you or your family what you deserve. If you or your loved one has suffered catastrophic injury or wrongful death as a result of a truck accident, contact us.
CALL (216) 696-4006 or (888) 488-8529 TODAY for free consultation and let Rubin Guttman and Associates start helping your family and you get the compensation you deserve.