Truck accidents, whether they involve semi-trucks, commercial trucks, or 18-wheelers, present a unique set of challenges compared to the “average” car accident. Contrary to car crashes, truck accidents double the mortality risk for injured vehicle occupants and nearly triple the risk of suffering catastrophic injuries. However, that’s not the only difference between them.
If you or someone you care about has been hurt in a truck accident and you want to know if you have a viable claim, you should know that certain elements may influence the outcome of your case. Not understanding what you’re getting into could hurt your truck accident claim in the long run. Here are critical differences that set truck accident cases apart from car accident cases.
Differences in Claim Complexity and Compensation Amount
Large trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, according to federal limits. Due to the sheer weight and size of trucks, pedestrians, cyclists, and people traveling in passenger vehicles are more vulnerable to suffering a serious personal injury or death in a collision with one. In fact, a 2017 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) report on large trucks shows that a total of 4,761 people were killed in trucking accidents; passenger vehicle occupants made up 72 percent of those deaths. Generally, the more devastating in nature the accident is, the higher the compensation.
Because of the seriousness of these cases, it gets more complicated to handle—particularly when it comes to investigations and the collection of evidence. In a typical car accident case, attorneys will collect witness testimonies, security footage, police reports, and pictures. When a truck is involved, other forms of evidence must be obtained immediately, including information on the driver, truck, company, and cargo. The timeline involved in truck accident cases is another vital component, as Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations only require that trip records and logs be maintained for six months after they are received.
Differences in Liability
In general, most car accident cases manifest as a two-vehicle crash, where one party sues another. In other instances, multiple vehicles, passengers, pedestrians, and bicyclists may be involved. Still, the nuances in truck accident cases are far more likely to make establishing and proving liability a challenge. This is because multiple parties play a role in the chain of distribution and may be held responsible for the accident.
You have to consider the driver, the company the driver works for, the driver’s boss, the truck owner, the manufacturer, the mechanic, and the driver’s relationship with the company. You also have to take into account whether the truck is loaded with cargo or pulling an empty trailer. When examining these factors, one or more parties may be found to share blame for the accident.
Differences in Resources
Most people anticipate getting into a car accident during their lives, but they don’t spend every waking minute preparing for it to happen and planning how they’ll handle a potential lawsuit. On the other hand, truck companies and drivers are prepared to deal with all sorts of problems that may arise after an accident. The trucking industry is a multi-billion dollar business equipped with various legal and insurance-related resources.
They have well–thought out procedures intact to handle accidents from the second they happen. They have their own set of investigators and medical personnel who will sift through evidence promptly and work quickly to cover up any incriminating evidence. Above all, they have insurance adjusters working for them who will go to ends of the earth to protect their investments and deny responsibility for any wrongdoing.
Contact Southeastern Pennsylvania’s Top-Rated Accident Attorneys for Help Today
Whether you were injured in a truck or car accident, the accident and personal injury lawyers at Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford P.C. will strive to get you great results. Bringing genuine compassion and enthusiastic advocacy to every case, our top-rated accident attorneys are recognized as leaders in truck and car accident law. We’ll do all the leg work, including proving liability, valuing your losses, and negotiating with insurance companies while you focus on what’s more important.
At Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford P.C. in Southeastern Pennsylvania, we understand the differences between truck accidents and other types of accidents. When handling intricate matters as such, experience makes all the difference. We possess over 270 years of cumulative experience and will stop at nothing to secure the monetary benefits that are rightfully yours. Contact our legal professionals today by calling (215) 822-7575 or completing a confidential contact form to request a consultation about your case.