I-15 and the 95 freeways are common roads that semi-trucks and big rigs use to transport goods between states and into northern Nevada. Since semi-trucks and cars are using the roads together, it is common in Las Vegas for semi-trucks to side swipe cars or to drive cars off the road, causing injuries to Las Vegas drivers. Truck drivers also suffer from fatigue due to long driving hours and intense pressure to deliver their goods on time.
Trucks cannot stop on a dime. Semi trucks accidents, also known as big rig accidents, are one of the most severe types of accidents on the Las Vegas roadways. Given the severity of the accidents, a complete investigation is conducted when there is an accident with a semi truck on the Las Vegas roadways. Most people do not know that the infamous ‘black box’ is in most semi trucks, and even in ambulances and fire trucks. Not only does the black box give you information on the accident itself, but it also provides crucial information as to the events leading up to the accident.
Black boxes in the semi truck industry are like the electronic brains of the semi truck. They function similarly to the black boxes used on airplanes. All new cars have electronic controls, just like all new semi trucks. However, semi trucks are more similar to airplanes, in that the electronic controls are actually recording the information, in what is generally called the black box.
The change in semi trucks having black boxes took place in the early 1990′s, when big rigs started to be made with a electric engine controls. The black box was available to see what happened just prior to an accident. The electronic controls were initially used to control the diesel fuel injection systems that were being installed to meet more stringent federal fuel emission requirements. Over time, the electronic controls expanded. At first, they recorded each trip and now they track almost everything you can think of.
Since the black box manufacturers are constantly improving the black box, the amount of information that can be read off the black box, depends on the year, make and manufacturer of the semi truck. After a big rig accident has taken place, a multi-page report is generated off of the information stored in the black box. Below is some of information that may be contained in the black box report:
- Exact time of the accident
- Outdoor temperature (important if weather conditions are at issue)
- Speed, including vehicle speed at time of braking, speed at time of impact, maximum trip speed, unusually high engine speeds during trip
- Hard brake
- Last stop record
- Clutch position
- Brake position
- Accelerator position
- Diagnostic (trouble) codes (present/absent)
- Cruise control status and speed
- Idle time during trip
- Time spent driving
Listed above, in what the black box records, is what is called hard stop information. Hard stop information has been expanded to include information for 1 minute before the accident and 15 seconds after the accident. Depending on the type of black box installed, the last 1 to 5 hard stops events will be stored. This information is key to reconstructing the accident, since the truck driver will almost always engage a hard stop just before the accident.
As part of the information that can be determined after a big rig accident, are defects in the braking system. After an accident occurs, the braking system electronic record can be looked at to see if it was operating properly at the time of the accident.
Since an operator of a semi truck is required to rest every day and not exceed a certain number of hours per day working, the computer information is important. These working limits are generally called the 11 Hour Rule and the 14 Hour Rule, as well as the 60 or 70 Hour Rule. These rules limit the number of hours a commercial truck driver can drive and work on any given day and week.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations require that commercial truck drivers keep a written log of their driving and work activities. This log allows truck drivers to indicate if they were on work duty, driving, or sleeping. The driver’s log book is then compared to the black box information, for any discrepancies. The big rig driver will usually agree with the vehicle’s computer.
SEMI TRUCK RADAR
There are also some other very interesting aspects in a semi truck accident case. Some big rigs are fitted with sophisticated radar that can be fitted on any truck. Its primary purpose is to warn the driver of objects or vehicles getting too close. The system has warning lights that warn the truck driver, as the objects are getting within 3 seconds, 2 seconds, 1 second and l/2 second away.
The standard radar system comes equipped with one forward facing radar sensor. However, the system can also be equipped with a side sensor that is mounted on the right side of the semi truck, which can detect the presence of an object to the side of the truck. The radar system records the distance, speed and angle, of up to 20 vehicles, in front of the truck. It also records the truck speed and its turn rate as well as other information.
SEMI TRUCK SATELLITE
In addition to the radar system installed on some semi trucks, oftentimes satellite-tracking equipment is used in the trucking industry today. The satellite system gives position data of the truck and up to eighty-eight other types of data, depending on the options that are selected by the trucking company. The available data can include position data, engine rpm, speed, brake applications, average speed, trip distance and many others. The satellite company can store up to fourteen days of position data and up to ninety days of message data.
Of course, in addition to the above documentation, von Magdenko & Associates, PLLC always hires expert witnesses in complex cases such as big rig accidents, to interpret the vast amounts of data. This means, our clients get the most sophisticated legal representation possible.
When you hire Attorney Nadia von Magdenko, she will make sure that if there is a dispute as to what happened, evidence is preserved and witnesses will be contacted to make sure that even if someone moves away or if memory fades, you case will still be strong.
A truck accident lawyer Las Vegas NV drivers can depend on understands the devastating effects which could result from the collision. The sheer force exerted from large commercial trucks could lead to severe injuries or even death. The law firm of Nadia von Magdenko is determined to help victims and their loved ones get justice for personal injuries or wrongful death. Guided by years of experience and knowledge about auto collisions, we are ready to fight for the rights of our clients and pursue maximum compensation.
Commonly Asked Questions About Truck Accidents
As a respected truck accident lawyer in Las Vegas NV, we receive questions about collisions, the surrounding laws, and steps to take towards getting justice. Although every claim is inherently unique, some general information may help you to navigate your available options. Regardless of what you might have been told about your situation, it’s advisable to talk with a truck accident lawyer Las Vegas NV residents have on their side.
What should I do after a truck accident?
If you have been in a collision, even if you don’t suspect an injury, you should seek medical attention immediately. Sometimes a serious injury is not apparent until hours, days, or weeks later. Getting evaluated by a doctor could also be a useful addition to your potential legal case.
While this is happening, the truck driver and/or their employer may contact their own insurance company as well as their lawyer. These investigators may visit the scene, collect evidence, and gather witness statements. At some point, they may likely seek a statement from you about the accident. They may also tell you that a lawyer is not necessary, or they may offer you a settlement. From the perspective of a Las Vegas truck accident lawyer, may be advisable to politely decline and let these individuals know you’ve retained a lawyer who may be in touch shortly.
I’ve already talked to the insurance company; can I still call a truck accident lawyer Las Vegas NV has to offer?
If you’ve made a statement, answered questions, or begun negotiations for a settlement without a lawyer, you could have other legal options still available. It may be in your best interest to contact a truck accident lawyer in Las Vegas NV to discuss your case in further detail.
What is a commercial truck?
Truck accident lawyers may often handle cases which involve commercial trucks. A commercial truck is a vehicle which is used to transport goods for businesses. These could include 18-wheelers, dump trucks, cement trucks, construction equipment or other large freight truck. These specific collisions may involve large trucks carrying more than 80,000 pounds. The size and basic laws of physics typically means any collision can result in serious, if not fatal, injuries — particularly for passengers in standard-size vehicles.
What are some common factors that may cause an accident?
A Las Vegas NV truck accident lawyer may carry out an in-depth investigation of the collision to determine the leading cause as well as other circumstantial factors. Commercial truck accidents may be caused by the truck’s characteristics (i.e. size, load, blind spots, etc.) and its performance capabilities (i.e. acceleration limits, breaking capabilities, visibility, etc.). The truck driver, or defendant, may also be partially responsible for the collision.
I have been in a collision, can I receive monetary compensation?
Every claim has its own underlying factors; therefore, you should talk with a truck accident lawyer Las Vegas NV offers for further advice. Generally, monetary compensation may be available for the victims of collisions that involved negligence or wrongdoing. If you choose to pursue a legal claim, your lawyer should review all possible damages to determine a fair amount. Compensation might cover medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and car repair.
Nadia von Magdenko: A Lawyer On Your Side
If you’ve been the victim of a truck accident, you should have a lawyer to speak on your behalf. Nadia von Magdenko and associates are ready to hear your story and discuss possible legal options. To schedule a free consultation with a truck accident lawyer Las Vegas NV drivers can count on, please call (702) 830-9662.
Contact Nadia Immediately.
Call Nadia today at (702) 385-1600 or fill out our form for a free consultation about your case. Nadia will personally respond to your email or call.