Heavy & Light Truck Litigation
We have litigated countless accidents involving over-the-road semi tractor-trailer rigs, straight trucks and everything in between. We have investigated and tried a number of cases involving tanker trucks, flatbed trucks, panel delivery trucks, armored cars and specialty design trucks.
Our work in this area has included, by way of example, the following kinds of accidents and claims:
- Highway accidents, including rear-end collisions
- Mechanical failures
- Jack-knife cases
- Total loss of control cases
- Visibility of parked trucks
- Trucks striking parked cars alongside the roadway
- Rollover cases
- Crossed median head-on collisions
- Icy bridge cases
- Visibility issues
- Dropped drive trains
- Dropped cargo
- Vibration injuries and truck suspension design
- Drug and alcohol cases
- Vehicle maintenance cases
Trucking Accident Reconstruction
We are particularly well versed in working with expert witnesses in the reconstruction of trucking accidents. Having handled a large number of these claims, and possessing an exceptional degree of engineering knowledge, we are particularly skilled in this aspect of litigation.
Trucking Litigation Issues
Issues that arise with truck accidents include speeding, oversized loads and driving without adequate sleep. Heavy trucks have different handling characteristics and visibility than ordinary passenger cars, and because they can weigh between 50,000 and 90,000 pounds, they deliver a significant amount of momentum and kinetic energy in a collision. They take much longer to stop at a given speed than conventional vehicles. Therefore, the litigation of heavy truck cases requires specific knowledge and experience. We possess that knowledge and experience.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that in 1999, 475,000 large trucks were involved in accidents in the United States; 4,898 were involved in fatal crashes killing 5,362 and injuring an additional 142,000 people. (Traffic Safety Facts 1999) One out of eight traffic fatalities in 1999 resulted from a collision involving a large truck and 78 percent of those fatalities were occupants of the other vehicle. (Id. See also National Transportation and Safety Board.)
As with all personal injury cases, within the first week, important physical evidence can be lost, witnesses may be difficult to locate or even forget important details.To protect your legal rights following an injury or wrongful death resulting from a trucking crash or incident, you should consult a personal injury law firm as quickly as possible.
Our extensive work with heavy truck cases has given our attorneys knowledge in both the law that is applied and the language that is used in truck litigation. We are well versed in 18-wheeler litigation. This makes our representation even more cost-effective, underscoring our dedication to cost containment in every possible form.
Knowledge of Specialized Trucking Concepts
A select few of the concepts that we are already familiar with include:
- Paperless log systems (PLS)
- Electronic control module (ECM black boxes)
- Collision warning sensors (CWS)
- Tachographs (a device fitted to a vehicle that automatically records its speed and distance)
- Jake brake (the Jacobs Engine Brake is a “compression release” engine brake used by large diesel trucks, especially on steep downgrades)
- Glad hands (a type of coupling device attached to the air supply system on the tractor)
We are familiar with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act, which sets standards governing truck drivers and trucking companies and safety operations. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that in 1999, 475,000 large trucks were involved in traffic crashes in the United States; 4,898 were involved in fatal crashes killing 5,362 and injuring an additional 142,000 people. (Traffic Safety Facts 1999) One out of eight traffic fatalities in 1999 resulted from a collision involving a large truck and 78 percent of those fatalities were occupants of the other vehicle. (Id. See also National Transportation and Safety Board.)
The key to success in litigation is to be realistic and careful in terms of how a "win" is defined under the circumstances of any given dispute. No two cases are exactly alike. Remember that no attorney or firm can guarantee success according to any arbitrary standard or in terms of a favorable result at trial. Whether or not to try a case or settle a case is a decision a client makes with the advise of an attorney, and no attorney can guarantee anything about the outcome of a civil case. Any case, tried to a jury or a court, might be resolved unfavorably. Trials are inherently unpredictable. Statements contained on this website regarding the ability of the professionals at Godfrey | Johnson, P.C., are based upon good faith perceptions of our abilities demonstrated over years of practice, and are not intended to imply that the attorneys have never lost a case or that we can assure that any particular case will be won at trial or on motions. The best way to evaluate any case is to communicate about it in depth with qualified legal counsel, providing all relevant information to the attorney. It is dangerous to withhold facts from an attorney, and can lead to the delivery of legal advise that is fundamentally flawed. No attorney can prevent this from happening, as attorneys all must rely to some extent upon the information that is provided to them by their clients. The best way to evaluate an attorney is by that attorney's track record, and ours is open for discussion in any specific field. Our abilities as described on this website are based upon experience in actual cases, which have been successful more often than not. ©2015 Godfrey | Johnson, P.C. All rights reserved.