How Do Semi-Truck Accidents Differ From Standard Automobile Accidents Legally?
Semi-truck accidents and car accidents are similar in many ways. Both can lead to devastating injuries, including head trauma, fractures, fatalities, spinal cord trauma and other serious injuries. However, if you make a claim resulting from a semi-truck accident, the compensation you are eligible for may be significantly different than if you sustained the same injuries in a typical car accident.
The Differences Between Commercial Truck Crashes and Car Accidents
Semi-trucks, tractor-trailers and other large trucks are typically commercial vehicles. Because they’re much larger and because they cross state lines, these vehicles have to follow many regulations set by both the state and by federal agencies.
In fact, truck drivers have to follow many more laws than the traditional car driver. There are limits about how much cargo trucks can carry, how much sleep truck drivers need to get, where trucks can drive, how much training truckers need to have and so forth. If a truck driver violates these rules and you and your attorney can prove it, the chances are much greater of getting a settlement than they would be in a traditional car accident case — even if you had compelling evidence that the other driver in your car accident was at fault.
Another key difference between car accidents and truck accidents is the defendant. In a car accident, there are usually two parties involved — the at-fault driver and the plaintiff. In truck accidents, on the other hand, there may be multiple liable parties. You may be able to file a claim against the manufacturer of the tires, the manufacturer of the truck, the trucking company, the mechanic responsible for fixing the vehicle, the company hiring the truck or leasing the vehicle and other liable parties. By filing claims against multiple parties responsible for your accident, you may have a better chance of recovering compensation for your injuries.
Commercial carriers are expected to carry higher minimum amounts of insurance. Many car drivers on the road only carry small amounts of insurance, and many are underinsured or even uninsured. This means if you’re in a truck accident involving a commercial truck, you’re more likely to get a fair settlement simply because the truck carrier has more generous insurance coverage. With a car accident, on the other hand, you may have a hard time recovering any money if the other driver is uninsured and you don’t have underinsured car accident coverage on your own policy.
While a commercial truck accident can mean a fair compensation amount because of the larger insurance amount trucks carry and because of the multiple liable parties involved, truck companies also have access to strong attorneys and will often vigorously defend any claims against their trucks or their drivers. If you have been injured in a truck accident, you need a focused and experienced truck accident attorney who has worked on truck accident cases before.
The lawyers at Irpino, Avin & Hawkins Law Firm have successfully brought thousands of personal injury and truck accident cases to settlement, so if you need a focused attorney, click or call our law firm today for a consultation.