Truck accidents and car accidents are different based on the extent of injuries involved, the number of liable parties, and the cost of property damage.
Trucks are much bigger and weigh more than cars. This aspect is the main reason why truck accidents have a higher risk of causing catastrophic or fatal injuries. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found that 4,119 people died from a truck accident in 2019, with 67% of all fatalities being car occupants.
How Are the Liable Parties in a Truck Accident Different From a Car Accident?
Truck accidents are different from car accidents based on the liable party or parties. Car accidents normally have one or two liable parties, which are normally the drivers involved. A truck accident is different because it can have multiple liable parties that are not directly involved in the accident.
The Trucking Company May Be the Primary Liable Party
The first liable party in a truck accident may be the trucking company that hired the driver. Due to vicarious liability, trucking companies take responsibility for their employees’ negligence. However, a trucking company is liable for a truck accident if:
- They knowingly hire negligent drivers such as individuals with a known drug addiction.
- They knowingly force their drivers to work more hours.
- They fail to properly maintain the vehicle.
- The driver’s employer allows road defective trucks to stay on the road.
A truck accident may also be the loading company’s fault. If the cargo is not securely loaded, a crash may occur. The cargo may spill onto the road, colliding with other road users or even toppling the truck over.
Unlike cars, trucks may have numerous owners who are responsible for the vehicle. It is important that you investigate the different owners of the vehicle to determine who is liable. A truck accident lawyer can help you gather enough evidence to pursue a personal injury claim against one or multiple liable parties involved in a truck accident.
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How Are Recoverable Damages in Truck Accidents Different from Car Accidents?
The recoverable damages after truck accidents are normally higher than in car accidents. As such, the injuries are often worse than in car accidents due to the impact of the collision—even at low speeds.
Still, some of the injuries sustained in both types of accidents are:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones
- Injuries leading to amputation
- Burns and injuries resulting in severe disfigurement
The medical expenses associated with injuries sustained in a truck accident may be much higher than in a car accident. You may have to stay at the hospital for a longer time and engage in long-term treatment therapies to get better. All these factors may make recoverable damages much higher and are a key reason as to how truck accidents are different from car accidents.
Multiple Parties May Affect Your Settlement Amount
The presence of multiple liable parties may increase the settlement you should receive, as you may be able to pursue a claim against each individual liable party.
Dealing with multiple insurance companies is much more hectic because each could try to minimize the settlement amount they have to pay. A truck accident lawyer will help calculate your damages and pursue a fair settlement from the insurer.
How the Law Is Different for Truck Accidents and Car Accidents
Laws are also another distinguishing factor between truck accidents and car accidents. There are federal laws that govern the conduct of truck drivers. For instance, truck drivers all over the country are not allowed to engage in texting while working.
The blood alcohol content of truck drivers should be less than 0.04. Such a regulation means that truck drivers are more likely to be partly at fault even if the other driver had a higher blood alcohol content. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA), trucking companies must engage in post-accident testing of drugs on their drivers after an accident.
How else are truck accidents different from car accidents? One reason is that the former is often caused by fatigue. Federal laws have imposed strict working hours for truck drivers to help keep them alert. Consult a personal injury lawyer to find out more about the federal laws that can help you get compensated after a truck accident.
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Call Isaacs & Isaacs Personal Injury Lawyers at 1-800-800-8888 and receive a free consultation. We can tell you more about how truck accidents are different from car accidents.
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