How are Commercial Vehicle Accidents Different from Car Accidents?
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™ on behalf of Sara Williams with Alexander Shunnarah Injury Attorneys, P.C..
There are two primary differences between commercial vehicle accidents and standard passenger vehicle or car accidents. Not only are the damages typically sustained in a commercial vehicle accident far more severe than a standard accident, but the parties involved can differ significantly as well, and may complicate the process for seeking recovery.
Commercial vehicles are typically large trucks that can weigh up to 75,000 pounds more than the average car.
Unsurprisingly, this difference in weight can make it much harder for an 18-wheeler to stop or change direction than for a significantly smaller passenger vehicle. The size, weight, and velocity of a tractor-trailer can result in catastrophic collisions that occur with much greater force than a similar accident between two standard cars. This is also why semi-truck accidents are more likely to result in life-threatening and fatal injuries than a normal accident typically is. As a result, the damages sustained in commercial vehicle accidents tend to be extreme, resulting in ongoing and highly expensive medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and even chronic life care expenses or even funeral and burial costs for the families of commercial vehicle accident victims.
The parties involved in a commercial vehicle accident also tend to differ significantly.
Commercial vehicle accidents are also unique in that there are often multiple parties that could be considered liable, and/or are involved in the compensation process. For example, most large trucking companies have their own legal and insurance teams that will typically attend the scene of the accident. These teams are typically focused on shielding the truck driver and trucking company from liability, and can make it much more difficult for an accident victim to seek compensation. Additionally, it is not unheard of for trucking companies to pressure their drivers to break important traffic safety rules in the interest of getting to their destination faster, thereby increasing profits at the expense of roadway safety. In this scenario, both the trucking company and the driver could be considered liable.
Commercial vehicle accidents are unique, and require unique representation.
If you or a loved one were injured in an accident with a commercial vehicle, it’s important to talk to an attorney who specifically handles commercial vehicle and truck accidents. An attorney who solely handles car accidents will not have the experience and know-how to deal with the unique aspects of a commercial vehicle accident that don’t typically feature in a standard accident. The good news is that it does not cost any more to hire an attorney with a specialization in commercial vehicle accidents. In fact, most personal injury attorneys regardless of specialization offer free consultations and work on contingency, which means clients only pay if and when they win their case.
To learn more about commercial vehicle accidents, or for help investigating your claim if you were injured in one of these, reach out to an experienced truck accident attorney in your area.