Trucks and cars both share the road and are vehicles, but the results of being involved in a car accident as opposed to being involved in an accident where a truck was involved are much different.
Not only can the results be much more catastrophic but the remedies available to the injured individuals are much different.
Different Causes of Accidents
Car accidents can share similar causes with trucking accidents, but because trucks are much bigger in size, they also come with a number of other causes that are unique.
Trucks have significant blind spots, more so than other vehicles, which can lead to accidents. In addition, trucks have a harder time slowing down to avoid a collision. Due to any load the truck may be carrying, the truck may have a harder time with braking or avoiding a collision.
Severity of Injuries
One major difference between a car and a truck is the size and weight of the vehicle causing the impact. Trucks can weigh upwards to 80,000 pounds, while the average car weighs 3,000 pounds. Both vehicles have substantial weight, but arguably, a truck’s mass is much more, which means that it can cause much more damage if it causes an accident.
Because of this size difference, many truck accidents result in severe injuries and even fatalities. Because the injuries tend to be much more severe in scope, the size of the compensation award in a truck accident also tends to be a much higher amount than the plaintiff would receive in a car accident claim.
Complexity of Damages Involved
Because the size of the truck is much more than a car and because the injuries can be severe, proving damages can be much more complex.
Many times, a truck accident can also involve more than one vehicle, if not a chain reaction.
The damage from the accident can be quite serious and catastrophic. This can means that more evidence will need to be collected at the scene and expert witnesses may be needed to prove damages, in addition to doctors, more medical bills and other medical records.
Who Is Liable?
In addition to proving the damages and injuries sustained, the question of liability tends to be a little more complex when a truck is involved. When an accident involves two cars, it is usually one party or the other who is liable for damages. However, the liability for the accident may not automatically be attributed to the truck driver.
The truck driver’s employer or the manufacturer of the truck can face liability for the damages, depending on the circumstances involved. If the driver of the truck is an independent contractor, the truck driver is more likely to be the responsible party who is liable for damages, although proving damages and liability can be complicated.
Trucking law is much more complex than the average personal injury claim. The trucking industry is governed by federal law, as well as state and local regulations.
Commercial truck drivers are held to a different standard than other drivers on the road, which can definitely affect the plaintiff’s case.
For example, one of these regulations or standards regulates how many hours a truck driver can log before taking a break. If it is found that the driver is over that limit, this could mean he or she was being negligent in driving on the roads and could affect liability in the case.
In addition, the trucks themselves must be maintained and routinely inspected to meet certain safety standards. If it is found that the truck is not properly inspected or maintained, this could also seriously affect the case.
Resources of the Other Party
Dealing with a trucking company also brings additional complications when it comes to the resources the company has at its disposable, as opposed to the individual plaintiff.
Trucking is a large industry, and many of these companies have attorneys on retainer who are ready to defend any claims made against the company. When a party is facing a legal battle against a trucking company, it is best to have an attorney who is experienced in dealing with these types of cases and parties.
Many times, these companies will have their separate investigators who will look into the situation in hopes of finding ways to reduce or completely avoid any type of liability for the accident. It is never recommended that a plaintiff fight a trucking company without the assistance of an attorney, especially one trained in dealing with truck accident litigation.
Contact Us Today!
If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, or any other personal injury situation, call Joseph Wilson for a free initial consultation. Call us at (678) 210-1546.