To a layperson, a crash is a crash. Yes, some are more violent, with greater damage and injury, but a victim of a crash sustains whatever injuries they have and works to recover from them. To an attorney experienced in claims and cases against trucking companies, a truck crash is an entirely different beast.
There are obvious reasons for this differentiation. Manifestly, trucks are larger, heavier and less easily controllable in emergency situations. The sheer weight and size often leads to vastly greater damage to the cars and bodies, of truck crash accident victims. There are also less obvious distinctions.
These include factors concerning truck operators, truck owners and the trucks themselves.
Truck operators often are required to have different licensure than ordinary drivers. So-called CDL licenses are commercial drivers licenses which are required in order to operate larger vehicles. In Maryland there are three classes, A, B, and C. The A class for example is required for operating vehicles of 26,001 pounds or more to include a towed vehicle of 10,000 pounds or more.
Which is to say that 36,001 pounds or more of gas-powered metal is an exceedingly dangerous thing and operating one requires much greater knowledge and training. The tractor trailer drivers one sees on the Beltway are class A licensees. Professional truck operators also are more subject to fatigue from long and arduous hours of driving .
When pursuing a case against a truck driver and trucking company, experienced attorneys know to look into licensing, truck weights and driving logs to make sure that the cause of a major crash was not an exhausted driver, driving a truck that was far heavier than appropriate for their license.
Truck owners also have unique issues and responsibilities. Issues that arise with trucking companies and their owners include, maintenance of their fleet, scrutiny of the qualifications and behavior of their drivers, proper loading procedures and ensuring that operators get sufficient rest.
Finally, the trucks, themselves have problems that must be explored. Maintenance of big rigs includng most particularly their tires, brakes and steering are recurrent problems. Trailer loads must be appropriately distributed and secured or the trailer can cause vehicles to jackknife or lose control. Commercial trucks also have so-called "black boxes" which store a wealth of information concerning a truck's behavior.
The up-shot is that if you have been injured in a Maryland or D.C. truck crash contact Clark and Steinhorn, LLC at (301) 317-1001 or reach us on the web at Maryland_Law .com