The serious injuries actor Tracy Morgan sustained along with the fatal ones suffered by his passenger in a Walmart car accident involving a semi-tractor trailer in June 2014 underscore the dangers associated whenever a 5000 pound passenger vehicle meets a 16,000 to 30,000 pound 18-wheeler. In fact, many loaded trucks can weigh far more with some up to 90,000 pounds. In a collision, the motorist and passengers are at distinct and tragic disadvantage. You are 5 times more likely to suffer injuries or a fatality in an accident with a semi truck than in one with another passenger vehicle.
The fatal passenger is the Tracy Morgan case was comedian James McNair who was survived by two adult children. They received a $10 million settlement payable in monthly installments over their lifetime. Mr. Morgan has a separate lawsuit against Walmart, owner of the truck, and had been going to rehab for many months. A recent Tracy Morgan case update indicated that the actor had recently married and appeared to be improving. He had sustained a broken arm, nose, rib fractures and a broken femur.
Truck drivers and trucking companies including that of the Walmart driver are heavily regulated regarding hiring, safety, truck maintenance and inspection, loads, providing logs or records, hours on the road and down time.
Since truck drivers are commercial drivers and trucking companies are commercial carriers, they are held to a higher standard of care to motorists and others who use the roadways. Even the slightest r violation of a federal or state regulation exposes them to liability for your injuries. For example, drivers are limited to driving 70 hours per week, or 11 hours driving per day along with a 14-hour daily limit. Once the 70 hour limit is reached, drivers must take at least 34 hours off. According to reports in the Tracy Morgan case, the truck driver had not slept in over 24 hours and was driving 65 miles per hour.
Despite the regulations, drivers and trucking companies consistently violate traffic laws and regulations. Common causes of truck accidents include:
- Impairment due to drugs or alcohol
- Lack of driving experience
- Overloading and failing to secure loads
- Faulty brakes from failure to inspect or maintain
- Unsafe lane changes
Because of the unique nature of trucks, the rules that regulate them and the consequences of an accident, you should retain Boston attorney Neil Burns, a highly experienced personal injury lawyer, to handle your 18-wheeler car accident injury claim.
Investigating an 18-Wheeler Car Accident
Truck accidents are different than ones that only involve passenger cars. The investigations are usually much more time consuming and complex.
A typical trucking accident investigation consists of a visit to the accident scene to take photographs and to analyze skid marks, debris and property damage. A police investigator normally investigates car accidents but it will take someone with particular skills in these cases; usually the State Police in serious cases or wrongful death cases. An expert investigator will look at crush damage, contact points and damage to guard rails, if applicable. If there are witnesses, the investigator will obtain the identity of witnesses and record their statements. The truck itself must be examined for mechanical and other issues that could have contributed to the accident. Your attorney, Neil Burns, will take steps to have the truck and other evidence preserved for inspection.
Motor carriers now have on-board electronic monitoring systems, or electronic control modules similar to the black boxes found on airplanes, that supply essential data on speed and performance that can offer vital information on the driver’s conduct and the truck’s operation in the minutes and seconds before the accident. This includes videos of the driver at the time of the collision. The data is subject to subpoena for accident lawyer Neil Burns to analyze and pass on to an expert.
Damages in a Truck Accident
Injuries in a truck accident can be life-threatening and cause substantial changes in your life. These include disfigurement, spinal cord injuries, damage to internal organs, severe lacerations, paralysis and traumatic head injuries. If injured by the negligence of a truck driver, you may collect the following in compensation for your damages:
- Past and future income loss
- Past and future medical expenses
- Diminution in quality of life
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Spousal claim for loss of consortium
In a fatal accident, the administrator for the decedent’s estate may bring a wrongful death claim on behalf of the decedent’s surviving immediate family. Damages may include:
- Medical expenses if any
- Loss of financial support to the immediate family members
- Funeral and burial costs
- Pain and suffering but only if the decedent was observed to have consciously experienced it
- Loss of the decedent’s love, guidance, counsel and support
- Punitive damages but only if the defendant driver’s conduct was grossly negligent or exhibited a willful indifference to the safety of the decedent.
Retain Attorney Neil Burns
Neil Burns has over 30 years of experience in handling complex injury cases like 18-wheeler car accidents. As a car and truck accident lawyer, he has obtained millions in compensation for his clients.
Thousands of injury victims over the years have trusted their injury claims to Neil Burns. Call his office today for an analysis of your claim and to discuss your legal options.