Legal Guide

The Most Important Differences Between Semi Truck Crashes and Car Crashes

Did you know that 81% of crashes between a car and semi truck are caused by the driver in the car? An accident between two cars can be bad, but when you include a semi in the crash, the outcome can be devastating. 

Semi truck crashes differ from a collision between passenger vehicles in many ways. The type of investigation done needs to be much more thorough. 

The best thing you can do if you are in an accident involving a semi-truck is to contact an experienced attorney. 

Keep reading to know what to expect and how your truck accident differs from a passenger vehicle crash. 

Different Regulations 

Trucking companies must register with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the DOT. These two agencies regulate the interstate nature of freight shipping. 

There are hundreds of more regulations that large trucks must comply with. These cover everything from the condition of the truck, to what they can carry, to how many hours they can operate on the road. 

If a driver or company is not in compliance they are subject to severe sanctions.

There Is Significantly More Damage 

The average semi truck that is hauling a full trailer can weigh 80,000 pounds or more. The average passenger car weighs about 3,000 to 4,000 pounds.

Even a Ford F250 Super Duty Crew Cab only weighs 6,547 pounds. You'd need more than 12 Ford trucks to equal the weight of one fully loaded semi. 

When you compare the weight and size difference of the two vehicles, it is no surprise that the semi truck will inflict some serious property damage. 

There Will Be Injuries 

It should be no surprise that along with the extensive property damage, there will be physical injuries. These most often occur to the driver and passengers of the car. 

When two cars collide, injuries tend to escalate with the severity of the accident. When there is a semi involved, even the most minor of accidents can result in extensive injuries. 

Common injuries that drivers suffer are back, neck, and head injuries. Whiplash and broken bones are also common. 

Calculating Injuries 

Most likely, the injuries suffered require extensive treatment. The length of time can be unpredictable. Often, the experience is life-changing. 

You will want to make sure you are financially covered for the initial medical treatment, continuing long term treatment, and missed work. 

Increased Chance of Death 

It is a sad fact, but you are more likely to pass away from an accident if you're involved in an accident with a semi-truck. Large trucks are responsible for about 3,000 to 5,000 deaths every year. 

If your loved one passed away as a result of an accident with a large truck, you need to speak to an attorney. There are many financial burdens that you are now facing. An experienced attorney can guide you through the process of filing a claim. 

The Insurance Policies Are Bigger 

Most people driving passenger vehicles carry the minimum amount of insurance as required by state law. This is often woefully less than the damage and injury expenses of an accident. 

This is not the case with companies that run commercial trucks. These insurance policies can be worth millions of dollars. This is because they need to cover the large amount of damage that commercial trucks can inflict and the value of the cargo. 

Now because there is a lot more money on the line, insurance companies will fight harder to disprove liability. It takes a team of knowledgeable attorneys with experience representing claimants injured from truck accidents.  

Extensive Investigations 

With more property damage, injuries, and money involved, the investigation is going to be much more extensive than your typical passenger car accident. 

Your attorney and the trucking company will each conduct their own investigation. The insurance company will conduct its own investigation also. 

It will be essential to get copies of the logbooks, GPS data, driving history, violation history, and any safety violations. 

A wealth of information pertaining to liability can come from the DOT records. Another critical data point source is the ECM in the truck. This computer nerve center controls and records all data from the functioning of the truck's engine and transmission. 

Your attorney can get valuable data leading up to the moment of the crash. This can help show that the driver of the truck is at fault for the accident. 

Recovery Requires Specific Experience 

With bigger insurance policies and more significant injuries, you don't want to hire any car accident attorney in town. An experienced truck accident attorney will have personal knowledge of the differences we've discussed so far. 

An experienced attorney will know how to approach negotiations for large sums of money. They will understand and prepare for the insurance company's tactics. 

They also know and understand the regulations that trucking companies and drivers must adhere to. Do not accept the first offer you receive without first seeking the advice of an attorney. 

Protect Yourself from Semi Truck Crashes

No one wants to be in an accident, especially an accident involving a large truck. When it comes to semi truck crashes though, it is important to educate yourself.

If you drive on any highway, you drive alongside semi-trucks and are at risk of an accident. Should the worst ever happen to you or your family, you need to speak with a knowledgeable attorney. 

They can guide you through the claims process and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries. 

Use our attorney directory to find legal representation for your accident case today. 

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