At first glance, car and truck accidents may appear the same. Although car and truck accidents have many similarities, the relatively few differences are, by far, more important. This article will use the word trucks to refer to semi-trucks, commercial delivery trucks, tow trucks, and other large vehicles. It includes many of the key differences between car and truck accidents.
Battling Trucking Company Insurers
One of the most significant differences between truck and car accidents is the insurance companies that represent them. Unlike car insurance companies, truck insurance company lawyers are very combative. They are highly trained and will utilize every possible resource to prevent paying out on large claims. That’s one reason why you need Los Angeles truck accident attorneys to represent your interests.
State and federal laws heavily regulate commercial trucks and drivers. They must be registered with the Department of Transportation (DOT), The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), and The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). For clarity, the FMCSA and the NHTSA are branches of the DOT. All three agencies set rules for drivers and guidelines of how trucks must perform on the roads. The regulations include specific driver qualifications, restrictive driver licenses, driver logbooks, annual truck maintenance inspections, and hundreds of others.
Commercial trucking companies and drivers are very protective of their businesses. Often, truck companies and drivers do not entirely follow the laws and don’t want state and federal governments to know. If someone was injured because a truck driver or company broke the law, accident victim compensation could be much higher. That’s another reason why you should consider hiring a truck accident lawyer Los Angeles.
Multiple Parties Liable
Concerning car accidents, most of the time, one person is responsible for injuries. In commercial truck accident cases, many parties can be held accountable. Potentially liable parties include truck drivers, trucking companies, trailer owners, the workers who loaded the truck, truck maintenance or repair shops who worked on the vehicles, etc.
What Caused The Accident?
Car accidents tend to be caused by human error such as failure to stop, speeding, or distracted driving. Truck accidents tend to be caused by human error and many others, including the inability to stop (trucks and their trailers can be 60,000 pounds or heavier), maintenance failures, and manufacturing defects. Another common cause of truck accidents is drivers who stay on the road too long and don’t get enough rest. You can contact a truck accident lawyer Los Angeles who can help you understand how driver negligence will help your personal injury case.
Increased Property Damage and Personal Injuries
When fully-loaded, semi-trucks and trailers can weigh more than 80,000 pounds. Compare that to the average car that weighs less than 4,000 pounds. It takes a much greater distance for semi-trucks to stop than a car. Plus, the sheer weight of a loaded tractor and trailer can cause tremendous damage to anything it hits.
Think of the crushing power of an 80,000-pound vehicle hitting a 4,000-pound car. The force can crush a car to less than half its original size. Think of the passengers in that car. The human body is no match for the weight of a semi-truck barreling down an interstate, trying to stop before it crashes into something. Increased weight, coupled with speed, can cause catastrophic damage to life and property.
Higher Medical Bills
Understandably, truck accidents cause more substantial personal injuries than passenger vehicle accidents. Think of it this way; extra damage equals higher medical bills. Consequently, there are more traumatic injuries in truck accidents than in car accidents. The more severe the injuries, the longer accident victims spend in hospitals, rehabilitation, and out of work, the more medical bills pile up. Further, severe injuries often equate to long-term and lifetime disability. Ask a Los Angeles auto accident lawyer how your truck accident injuries or disability will affect your personal injury claim.
Elevated Chance of Death
According to data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI), in 2018, a total of 4,136 people died in large truck-related crashes. Further, the number of people who died in large truck-related crashes was 31 percent higher in 2018 than in 2009. The problem isn’t getting better; it’s getting worse.
Think about the number of cars and semis on the road, and you’ll understand how bad the problem is. Semi-truck accidents injure and kill a disproportionate number of people each year. Before filing a personal injury claim, call an experienced truck and auto accident attorney Los Angeles for assistance.
Greater Insurance Coverage Means Greater Compensation
Commercial truck accident damage tends to be much higher than automobile accident damage. Fact, commercial truck liability insurance coverage often extends in the millions of dollars because the damage to life and property is usually significant.
But commercial truck insurance companies play hardball, trying to get out from under personal injury claims because they don’t want to pay multi-million dollar lawsuits. They will do whatever they can to limit or deny claims.
Hiring a Los Angeles Truck Accident Attorney
Those who suffer from injuries sustained in a commercial truck accident will need to find an experienced truck accident lawyer to be fairly compensated. They need to find a lawyer that understands insurance company tactics, state and federal trucking regulations and is capable of thoroughly investigating all aspects of the accident.
Commercial truck accident victims need the help of skillful Los Angeles auto accident lawyers to be compensated for their out-of-pocket expenses, lost wages, and pains-and suffering.
M&Y Personal Injury Lawyers
Call (877) 771-8175 for a free consultation