7 Ways a Truck Accident Differs from a Car Accident
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™ on behalf of Michael Chaloupka with Metier Law Firm.
It’s no secret that accidents between large trucks and passenger vehicles differ significantly from car-on-car accidents. From the severity of the damages to the parties involved, truck accident cases are notoriously catastrophic and complicated to pursue. It typically requires the help of an experienced truck accident attorney to collect the specific types of evidence present in a truck accident case which trucking companies may otherwise not be inclined to provide.
Similarly, truck accident attorneys can give accident victims a better idea of what to expect from their future recovery, both physically and financially, as well as any life changes that may occur after a collision with an 18-wheeler.
The following are 7 ways that truck accidents differ from car accidents:
- Severity of injuries: Trucksare bigger and heavier than standard passenger vehicles; this makes it harder for them to stop and change direction, which can result in extremely catastrophic accidents. Unfortunately, in a collision between a car and a semi-truck, the car won’t come out on top. This often results in life-threatening injuries and even death for the passengers in the standard vehicle.
- Cost of expenses: In general, more severe injuries result in more extreme expenses. From the cost of past and future medical bills to lost wages, loss of chosen profession, and the cost of ongoing life care support, the expenses associated with truck accidents tend to be high, far exceeding what the average insurance policy will cover.
- Types of evidence: Some of the evidence present in a truck accident case may be similar to that of a car accident; pictures taken at the scene, witness testimonies, and even footage from nearby security cameras can all be utilized to determine how an accident occurred from the outside. However, certain types of evidence are specific to truck accident cases and can be extremely important in proving whether or not the truck driver and/or company is liable. From data recording systems embedded in the truck itself to logs recording hours of service and more, this type of evidence requires the help of an experienced truck accident attorney to request in a way that trucking companies will be required to comply.
- Liable parties: The liable parties in a truck accident also differ significantly from those of a car-on-car accident. In a truck-on-car accident, the truck driver, trucking company, maintenance provider, and even manufacturer of the truck or truck parts could all be considered liable or partially liable depending on how the accident occurred. Of course, the driver of the passenger vehicle could also be considered liable if they played a role in causing the accident.
- Insurance adversity: The trouble with large trucking companies is that they typically have their own high-powered insurance team whose job it is to protect them from liability and pay out as few claims as possible. This is an advantage that the average driver does not have, and can hurt the car driver in the process of pursuing compensation. It is not uncommon for a trucking company to send their insurance and legal experts to the scene of the accident before even the police arrive, which can put the objectivity and availability of the evidence at risk.
- Legal adversity: Similar to the above, large trucking companies may also have their own legal teams on standby. These teams know what to do in the event of an accident to best shield their client from liability; additionally, these teams can begin offering their client helpful counsel right away, whereas the driver of a car typically needs to seek out the help of an attorney and may not know to do so right away.
- Life changes: Due to the severity of the injuries and expenses associated with tractor-trailer accidents, it is not uncommon for an accident victim and their family to experience significant life changes. From short-term, long-term, and even permanent changes in mobility, employment and academic opportunities, and even the ways in which an accident victim is able to engage with loved ones and daily activities, life changes can often be expected after a truck accident and duly compensated in a successful truck accident claim.
To learn more about how truck accidents differ from car accidents, or for help filing a claim, reach out to a truck accident attorney in your area.