How Commercial Truck Accidents are Different than Passenger Vehicle Accidents
Commercial truck accidents differ from passenger vehicle accidents on many levels, including physical damage wrought, injuries sustained, multiple negligent parties, and insurance policies. If you’re involved in an accident involving a commercial truck (also referred to as a semi-truck or tractor-trailer) you will quickly realize that truck accident claims require a different approach than an accident involving only passenger vehicles, and here’s why.
Truck Accident Injuries and Physical Damages are Usually More Severe
The severity of truck accidents is often due to their weight and dimensions, which contributes to longer stopping distances, wider turn radiuses, and larger blind spots. Commercial trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds which is 20 times heavier than the average car. Due to this difference, personal injuries sustained in a truck vs. car accident are usually more catastrophic, including death. The physical damage to a vehicle in a truck accident can also be severe and often the car’s condition is considered to be “totaled” (when the damage to repair the car exceeds the value of the car).
Multiple Negligent Parties May Be Involved in Commercial Truck Accident Claims
When there is a car crash between two vehicles, usually only one person is at fault. When there is a crash involving a commercial truck, there may be multiple negligent parties involved. On top of this, each party may have their own separate insurance policies. Negligent parties can include:
- Truck driver
- Truck or parts manufacturers
- Truck mechanics
- Parent truck company
- Freight brokers
- Loading companies
Regulations for Truck Drivers and the Truck Companies
Commercial truck drivers and truck companies must comply with many federal trucking regulations, including the driving hours, training, truck maintenance, and much more. Navigating violations of these regulations is not an easy task.
Massive Insurance Policies
In a truck accident case, there is a lot of money at stake because truck insurance policies are often worth millions. Therefore, the trucking insurance policies will aggressively defend their clients to avoid liability.
Compensation for Damages Incurred in a Truck Accident
Injured parties in a truck accident have the right to be compensated for medical care, rehabilitation, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, and damages associated with pain and suffering, emotional suffering, and loss of consortium or diminishment of relations with a spouse.
Investigating Truck Accidents
Truck accidents are complex. Investigations are extensive and can require many months of research in addition to knowledge of federal and state trucking regulations.
Our Bakersfield trucking accident attorneys of Rodriguez & Associates have handled hundreds of truck accidents. Founder and senior attorney Daniel Rodriguez, along with attorneys Chantal Trujillo and Danay Gonzalez, obtained the highest personal injury verdict in Kern County history of $70,578,289 for a truck vs SUV case. We are familiar with truck accidents’ engineering, truckers’ fatigue, and other issues that lead to catastrophic accidents.
If you – or someone you love – has been a victim of a truck accident, contact us today. Call us at (661) 323-1400 for a free consultation to discuss your case and legal options.