A truck accident and a car accident may have similar causes, but they definitely don’t tend to result in the same consequences.
The fact that the average truck is 20 or 30 times heavier than the average passenger vehicle alone means that wrecks involving commercial vehicles are more likely to involve severe injuries and fatalities than those involving just cars. But that’s not the only difference.
Trucks and truckers have different rules to follow
Negligence is probably the most common cause of truck accidents. Some of that negligence, like fatigued driving, distracted driving or aggressive driving, is the same sort of negligence you might see from the drivers of passenger vehicles. However, trucking companies and truckers are also subject to federal and state regulations that others on the road are not. Trucking companies must adhere to stringent rules governing the industry, including driver rest periods, load limits and vehicle maintenance requirements. Violations of these regulations are another form of negligence and can significantly impact the outcome of a claim.
The liability for a truck accident can be spread out
Because of the industry regulations and the fact that the principle of vicarious liability holds employers accountable for their employee’s negligence, truck accident claims usually involve multiple parties. The trucking company, the driver, their maintenance contractors and even cargo loaders can potentially share liability for a wreck. That’s why truck accident claims often require specialized investigation techniques to reconstruct the accident scene, analyze the “black box” data from the vehicles involved and decipher the driver’s and company’s logbooks. Even gathering this evidence can be challenging
The insurance for commercial trucks is often higher
Typically, commercial vehicles carry insurance policies with much higher limits than you see in standard auto insurance policies. That’s a reflection of the devastation a truck accident can cause – but don’t expect the insurance company involved to simply hand over a check. When there’s a lot of money involved, you can usually expect the claims adjusters to try to minimize their liability and payouts and fight a claim at every turn.
Navigating a truck accident claim requires specific knowledge and resources to build a strong case against powerful trucking companies and their insurers. By enlisting skilled legal guidance, you’re more likely to receive fair compensation for the damages you’ve suffered.