How Do Truck Accidents Differ from Car Accidents?

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Truck accidents are different from car accidents purely based on the damage those large trucks can cause to passenger vehicles. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), semi-trucks, tractor trailers, big rigs, cement trucks to name a few, weigh 20-30 times as much as passenger cars. Those trucks are higher off the ground, meaning they operate differently, and can lead to passenger vehicles driving beneath the truck and result in a fatal accident.

What Are the Key Differences Between Large Trucks and Standard Passenger Vehicles?

When you consider the catastrophic damage trucking accidents can cause, the first component to review is the size and weight of semi-trucks.

A semi-truck has an engine that is is six times larger than a passenger car. The average semi-truck has up to 2000 feet per pound of torque and 600 horsepower.

Other factors that differentiate a semi-truck from a car include:

The federal law regulates the legal size and weight of semi-trucks, so when trucking companies or driver does not follow these regulations or carry insurance, and an accident occurs, the company and/or driver can be held liable.

How Severe Are Injuries that Are Caused by Truck Accidents?

Because of the size and weight of trucks, an accident may lead to severe accidents and injury, especially if the victim is in a passenger car. Traumatic injuries that occur during and after a truck accident include:

While the impacts of these injuries may be apparent immediately following the accident, they can become permanent impairments that have financial ramifications. This is one of the many reasons why a truck accident victim hires an experienced attorney who specializes in truck accidents to seek compensation for damages.

Large Trucks Lead to Fatal Collisions

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), 4,014 people died in large truck crashes in 2020. Of those deaths, fifteen percent were truck occupants, 68 percent were occupants of passenger vehicles, and 16 percent were pedestrians, bicyclists, or motorcyclists.

With retailers popping up across the United States, there are more commercial trucks on the road than ever, leading to higher accident percentages, and unfortunately, fatality rates.

Where Do Fatal Truck Accidents Occur?

Of the fatal truck crashes in the United States in 2020, forty-seven percent occurred on major roads other than interstates and freeways, 36 percent occurred on interstates and freeways, and 15 percent occurred on minor roads, with the most common time for an accident to occur being 6 a.m. to 3 p.m.

What Causes Fatal Truck Accidents?

While we know the size, weight, length, and stopping time of large trucks are the major components that make truck accidents different from car accidents, those factors also play into how these fatal collisions occur in the first place.

How Is Liability Determined in Truck Driver Accidents?

While you may think that the cause of a truck accident may be obvious, the reality is that there is often more than one cause. Because these cases are complex, it makes proving liability more difficult. A truck accident lawyer can help investigate the cause of an accident and establish liability.

Criteria to Establish Negligence, Liability

In Washington, DC, and Virginia, drivers must carry no-fault insurance. This means that regardless of who caused the accident, personal injury protection (PIP) or “no-fault” insurance will be used to cover medical expenses and lost wages.

However, Maryland is a fault state meaning that the at-fault driver must cover the victim’s expenses. But to do so, you must prove all criteria of negligence.

The criteria used to establish negligence against a driver include proving:

Failure to Comply May Lead to Big Rig Accidents

Truck drivers and trucking companies are required to follow strict safety regulations. Some of the findings for negligence in truck accidents include:

Whether the trucking company acted negligently or the driver themselves, when you suffer serious injuries as a result of a tractor-trailer accident, intense legal battles are possible. Once negligence has been established, you and your attorney may seek compensation for the damages.

What Is the Role of Insurance Companies in Truck Accident Cases?

Following a truck accident, the insurance companies of the victim, the truck driver, and the trucking company will conduct investigations to determine the cause of the accident and who is the at-fault driver.

Because the goal of the insurance adjuster is to settle outside of court, the insurance adjuster may try to settle at a lesser cost.

However, this early settlement may not meet your needs. A passionate truck accident attorney can help you build a case and fight for the compensation you deserve.

Common forms of financial recovery include:

An Experienced Truck Accident Attorney at Regan Zambri Long Can Help

If you or a loved one was seriously injured in a trucking accident, talk to a knowledgeable attorney of Regan Zambri Long to understand your options. Our truck accident lawyers can help with your claim by:

Because we work on a contingency-fee-basis, you don’t pay until we win. Do not deal with an aggressive insurance company alone and do not accept a settlement because you worry it’s the best you’ll get. Our experienced truck accident attorneys work in DC, Virginia and Maryland.

Schedule your free consultation by calling (202) 960-4596 or by completing our online form to begin an attorney-client relationship for legal advice.

Schedule a Free Consultation

Have you or your loved one sustained injuries in Washington DC, Maryland or Virginia? Regan Zambri Long PLLC has the best lawyers in the country to analyze your case and answer the questions you may have.

Call 202-960-4596

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