Collisions involving 18-wheelers, semi-trucks, and other commercial trucking vehicles can be particularly devastating for other motorists because of the sheer size and power of these commercial vehicles. In a collision, mass almost always wins. When a truck hits a car, the injury-producing forces that are transferred to the occupants of the car are much greater than those produced when a car hits another car. As a result, you or a loved one are more likely to sustain catastrophic injuries in a crash with a tractor-trailer.
Additional difference between car and trucks that affect crash dynamics
- Centers of gravity: Tractor-trailers are taller than cars and, as a result, there is often a mismatch of bumper heights and centers of gravity.
- Multiple axles: Many trucks have multiple axles and wheels, and some have different brake systems than cars.
- Ability to pivot: A large number of commercial trucks are articulated vehicles, meaning they have a joint between the cab and the trailer that allows the trailer to pivot.
- Cargo issues: Tractor-trailers can experience issues with cargo such as unbalanced loads, cargo shifts, cargo surge (liquids) and/or improperly secured loads.
- Control differences: Trucks accelerate differently, brake differently, turn differently and behave differently during emergency maneuvers and after sustaining an impact.
Trust a legal team with extensive truck accident lawsuit experience
All of these things affect the dynamics of collisions between trucks and passenger cars. Litigating a claim arising from a collision with a commercial vehicle presents different challenges than a car-on-car collision. Accordingly, a motorist injured in a collision with a tractor-trailer or other commercial vehicle should seek an attorney who is experienced in handling trucking collision cases.
At O’Connor & Partners, founding partner Joseph E. O’Connor and other attorneys in the firm are members of the Academy of Truck Accident Attorneys (ATAA), a national group of attorneys whose practices emphasize representing individuals injured by commercial vehicles.
If you are an attorney seeking to refer, or retain co-counsel for, a trucking negligence case, call us today at (845) 303-8777.