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