Truck vs. Car Accidents: Implications for Personal Injury Claims
It is important to know that truck accidents can differ significantly from other motor vehicle crashes. Many factors make them unique compared to car accidents. Understanding these differences can help you file a claim for your injuries confidently.
Key Differences Between Truck and Car Accidents
Trucking accidents and car accidents are two types of motor vehicle accidents. Trucking accidents differ from car accidents in several critical ways. Each distinction can have serious implications for the individuals involved. Knowing about these differences can help victims pursue justice and fair compensation.
Size and Weight of Vehicles
The size and weight of the vehicles are distinct between trucking and car accidents. When loaded, these vehicles can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. Making trucks many times heavier than typical passenger cars. The impact force is greater when a truck collides with a car, resulting in more severe damage.
Trucks need longer stopping distances due to their heavy weight. When truck drivers are speeding, drivers need more distance to stop safely, particularly in an emergency.
Additionally, trucks have many obstructed viewpoints when driving. Obstructed views can be hazardous, especially when truckers fail to pay adequate attention to surrounding traffic.
Losses Suffered and Injuries
The losses suffered from a trucking accident can be extensive. Victims may have medical expenses and profound physical and emotional pain and suffering. If victims can return to work, there may also be lost wages. The increased force in trucking accidents makes injuries more severe and often life-threatening. These accidents are more likely to lead to fatalities or severe injuries than passenger car accidents.
Truck Drivers are Subject to Regulations
Drivers are held to high standards. Requiring drivers to gain knowledge of safety regulations than the average car driver. Truck drivers are professional drivers subject to extensive rules and safety requirements. Truckers complete specialized training and get commercial driver’s licenses to drive the trucks.
Unlike car drivers, truckers are held to stricter laws and regulations at the federal and state levels. Drivers must follow the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s precise service hour regulations.
Liability and Insurance Complexities
Truck drivers may be liable for their own negligence. But trucking companies may also be responsible for traffic collisions. Trucking companies have various responsibilities, including:
- Hiring safe and experienced drivers,
- Maintaining their fleet in good working order,
- Enforcing safety procedures, and
- Ensuring compliance with federal and state hours of service restrictions.
Liability is difficult to determine in accidents involving a truck. Truck accidents are complex, and the investigation process may be more involved. Often, the expertise of a specialized investigator is necessary to determine the cause. Insurance and trucking companies may have specialized legal teams to protect their interests.
Truck Crashes vs. Passenger Vehicles: A Statistical Comparison
The most deaths in two-vehicle truck collisions, including a large truck, are passenger car occupants. Here are some statistics from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety yearly snapshot:
- In 2021, 4714 people died in large truck crashes.
- 16% were truck occupants,
- 68% were passenger car occupants, and
- 15% were pedestrians, bicyclists, or motorcyclists.
- Fatal large truck traffic accidents increased by 50% from 2009.
- For two-vehicle crashes with a large truck, in 2021, 97% of deaths were passenger car occupants.
- In 2021, most truck drivers died in single-vehicle crashes, about 58%. While for car drivers, the rate was lower at 44%.
These statistics highlight the seriousness of truck crashes. Truck accidents have more severe injuries and a higher likelihood of fatalities. It is clear that truck collisions pose significant risks to drivers and passengers on the road.
Hire an Attorney Experienced With Your Type of Personal Injury Case
The differences between trucking and car accidents are crucial for accident victims. Victims can seek justice and fair compensation after suffering injuries from another’s negligence. Truck accidents are unique. Commercial trucks’ size, weight, and regulatory requirements differ from passenger vehicles.
Understanding the difference, victims can make smart choices and hire a lawyer qualified to help them with their particular type of accident case. Most personal injury attorneys offer free initial consultations to offer preliminary legal advice as well.