The Importance Of Truck Accident ReconstructionJacksonville Accident News
Accidents involving large trucks are more complex than those involving regular passenger vehicles. With most commercial truck accidents, it is recommended that accident reconstruction takes place. Accident reconstruction is the process of investigating and analyzing evidence from a crash to determine the causes and who was at fault. This process is especially useful if there is a lack of evidence, more than one negligent party, or conflicting stories and witness testimonies.
Proving that a trucking company or its driver is at fault of an accident requires a thorough and extensive investigation. It is vital that experts get involved early in the process to ensure that no vital evidence is lost.
Once the investigation is complete, then a detailed reconstruction of the accident is done to prove negligence on the trucker’s part of the accident. Accident reconstruction experts typically have backgrounds in forensics, science, engineering, or even specialized law enforcement programs. They use this training to reconstruct crime scenes as part of a claim’s investigative stage.
What Are The Factors Considered In Accident Reconstruction?
Accident Reconstruction is often a key element in determining the cause and fault in an accident. It can identify contributory negligence on one or more parties due to carelessness, aggressiveness, faulty road conditions, equipment failures, or a number of other factors. Other important pieces of information such as the length of pre-impact skid marks, the weights of the vehicles, brake balance, and brake lag are all inputs to the equations used in reconstructing an accident.
- Skid Marks- Skid marks on the road are often used to determine speeds, but with large trucks, it’s more complicated. Experts need to determine which axle of the truck made the skid marks, if the brakes were applied before the accident, if the weight of the load was distributed correctly, and more to truly determine the speed at which the truck driver was going before the accident.
- Brake Balance- Large trucks, unlike passenger vehicles, take longer to stop, even when the brakes are properly applied. All trucking companies are required to ensure that all brakes on a truck are working properly through regular maintenance. If the brakes are not balanced properly, some may not lock. An accident reconstructionist can examine whether or not the braking system had an equal level of air pressure.
- Weight- The weights of the vehicles involved in an accident is an extremely important factor in accident reconstruction. When fully loaded, a large truck can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, versus a much smaller passenger car which can weigh up to 3,000 pounds. That’s a huge difference! And if the truck is overweight, that can play a big part in an accident.
- Brake Lag- When examining mechanical lag and air-pressure lag, a reconstructionist will determine the amount of time between brake application and wheel lockup.
Big rigs need near 350 feet of room to come to a complete stop from 60 miles per hour. When the brakes of a large commercial truck don’t work to their fullest capacity, they may not be able to stop in time to prevent a crash. This can result in head-on collisions, rear-end accidents, jackknifes, and t-bone accidents. We investigate many truck accidents and no two are the same. We collect all the evidence which will tell us what category the wreck belongs in. These include:
- Jackknife- when a truck’s cab swings on its fifth wheel to become parallel with the trailer.
- Head on- when the truck crashes into the front of another vehicle.
- Rear-end- when the driver can’t stop and runs into the back of the car in front of him.
- T-Bone- when the driver is neglectful of his responsibilities and fails to yield to traffic signage causing a collision with the vehicle crossing their path.
Other factors of accident reconstruction include the pre- and post-impact direction of travel, the post-impact distances moved, the friction values for the various surfaces the vehicles traveled over, the point of impact, and the impact angles. We take into account road and weather conditions, state of the cargo, the driver’s health and sobriety, as well as the truck’s mechanical workings.
What Happens After The Accident Reconstruction?
Once the reconstruction of the accident is complete, the reconstructionist will present a brief of their findings or testify in court to help prove negligence. Your attorney may also include the reconstruction information in the demand letter sent during the settlement negotiation. Expert testimony from a specialist can be essential in settlement negotiations.
Large commercial trucks spend countless hours and miles on the road. For this reason, trucking companies are required to closely monitor their vehicles for wear and tear and to make sure that they’re safe to drive. When companies operate with poorly maintained trucks, they’re in direct violation of federal law. Maintenance records can help support a truck injury claim. On top of the maintenance records, we also look at the driver’s logs. Companies put unrealistic expectations and pressures on the drivers which makes them fatigued and sometimes it’s worse than being under the influence. Also, shipping companies are quite often the reason for cargo coming undone. It’s often not the driver who secures cargo so the shipping company could be at fault.
Talking With a Truck Accident Attorney in Florida
Truck accidents are often fatal and always serious. You could be left with critical injuries like broken bones, head neck or spinal injuries, burned skin, or the crash could leave you disfigured or in need of an amputation. At Sheftall Law, we understand how important it is to get experts involved in your truck accident case and get the accident reconstruction process started. With decades of combined experience, we have the legal knowledge necessary to take care of your needs and rights in these trying times and we will stand by your side until you receive the compensation you deserve. If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident in Florida, please contact a truck accident attorney at Sheftall Law at (904) 569-6025 today to explore the legal options that are available to you.