If you're ever hurt in a truck accident, it's important to understand the differences between accidents involving trucks and accidents involving cars when seeking compensation.
Any motor vehicle accident could result in common car accident injuries. Accidents involving 18-wheelers and large commercial trucks can result in particularly significant injuries.
That's not the only way car accidents and truck accidents may differ. This guide will cover the basics of what you need to know on the topic. For more information, consider speaking with a truck accident attorney.
Handling and Maneuverability
Operating a commercial truck is not as easy as handling a car for the following reasons:
- Stopping a large truck takes more time than stopping a smaller vehicle. An accident may occur if a truck driver can't stop their vehicle in time to prevent a collision.
- Trucks need more space to maneuver in heavy traffic. A truck may also have a wide turn radius.
- Trucks carry heavy loads that make it hard to accelerate.
- Most trucks have blind spots. A car in a blind spot may be impossible for a truck driver to see.
- Weather can be a factor, such as wind pushing a large truck around due to its large surface area.
Because operating a truck is not an easy task, trucking companies must strive to hire qualified drivers, but accidents can still occur.
Regulatory Compliance and Investigation
Commercial truck drivers don't merely need to follow the traffic laws that all drivers must follow, they also need to comply with additional regulations. These regulations may include (but are not limited to):
- Driver qualifications
- Truck maintenance
- Cargo securement
Identifying the liable party after a truck accident often requires a thorough investigation. To prove negligence, a victim may have to show a trucking company didn't comply with industry-specific regulations.
Insurance and Legal Considerations
Insurance for an 18-wheeler is not the same as car insurance. The differences are:
- Higher coverage limits and cost: Heavy trucks can cause more damage than cars, so truck insurance coverage is higher.
- Usage: Truck insurance may account for the fact that commercial trucks often spend more time on the road than private cars.
- Coverage area: Car insurance may cover accidents that occur in a limited geographic area. However, truck drivers often travel long distances, and thus, their insurance may therefore cover a wider region.
A victim of a truck accident may seek compensation for medical bills and related losses by filing a claim with the trucking company's insurance. The process of doing so is often more complex than the process of filing a car insurance claim.
The first step in filing a claim involves determining who is the liable party. After a truck accident, the liable party may be the trucking company, the truck manufacturers, the truck's designers, etc. Identifying the liable party may therefore require a thorough investigation.
Filing a claim also involves adding up your damages. This may be a complex task after an accident that caused major harm. The task may be even more complex if you have non-economic damages like pain and suffering.
Settlements and Compensation
Settlements in truck accident cases tend to be higher than car accident settlements because trucks may cause more serious injuries. A truck striking you may cause more harm than a car striking you at the same speed.
People injured in auto accidents involving a truck should be aware that insurers of trucking companies are prepared to fight claims. Speaking with a lawyer may be helpful when trying to determine a fair settlement and what your case may be worth.
A lawyer can review your case to discuss your legal options. They may also investigate the accident to identify the liable party. If the insurance company won't offer a fair settlement, a lawyer may negotiate on your behalf.
Find a Truck Accident Attorney Today
Focusing on rest and recovery after a truck accident is important. That's easier to do when an attorney is handling your case.
Be aware that you could forfeit your right to compensation if you wait too long to take legal action. The statute of limitations sets a deadline for filing a claim after a truck accident. Get started by using Accident.com to find a truck accident attorney near you today.