Because of the sheer size and weight difference between trucks and cars, truck accidents can be far more devastating than car accidents. Truck accidents are handled slightly differently because they involve different types of challenges. Trucks make up a large majority of motorists on U.S. highways. Trucks move more than 70% of all goods that are transported in the United States. In 2017 the American Trucking Association calculated that trucks moved 10.8 billion tons of freight in the United States. Since the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, that number has risen as more people have relied on shipping to their homes rather than going to stores on their own.
Differences Between Car And Truck Accidents
The average car may only weigh between one or two tons, but a tractor-trailer, truck, or semi-truck can weigh 40 times that amount.
Also, truck accidents can occur on highways where both cars are going at very high speeds.
The cargo can also be very dangerous. Commercial trucks carry all sorts of cargo, some of which is flammable or potentially hazardous. If cargo is not properly secured, it can break loose and spill into traffic.
Trucking Industry Safety Standards
Because of the risk of accidents and the number of hours that they are on the road, truckers are required to abide by certain safety standards. While it should sound obvious that drinking and driving is very dangerous and should be avoided at all costs, truckers may still risk their job by driving after a few too many drinks. But it’s not just alcohol that can cause an accident. Any kind of medication that can impair one’s judgment or physical ability to react, such as medications that cause drowsiness, will affect a driver and their ability to be safe.
Additionally, truckers are required to check their truck and to report any maintenance concerns. If there are any problems with the brakes or other important features of the truck, then it is imperative that they have it repaired as soon as possible.
Hiring An Attorney
When you have been involved in a car accident or truck accident, it is important to act quickly and hire a truck accident lawyer because you could be subject to a statute of limitations, which is the amount of time that you have to file a claim before the courts will refuse to hear it. Many attorneys offer free consultations to assess your situation and see if they can help you. They will be able to review your case and your supporting documents such as:
- Medical records
- The police report
- Salary information
- Photos from the accident
- Other documentation as required
They will estimate all of your damages based on this information and begin negotiations with the insurance company. The lawyers at the insurance company are not going to be looking for a trial, since those can be very expensive and time-consuming.
Your attorney will then draw up a settlement letter to present to the insurance company with the requested amount of compensation that they believe you are owed for your injuries. Your attorney will need to receive and review your medical records, the police report, and any other documentation that you provide, such as photos that you took at the scene of the accident. Your attorney will also need to know about your wages and income if you are going to claim any lost income.
We hope you found this blog post on Car Accidents vs. Truck Accidents useful. Be sure to check out our post on What Are The Possible Legal Consequences Of A Truck Accident? for more great tips!
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