How Are Semi-Truck Accidents Different from Car Accidents?
May 25, 2021
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 4,119 people died in collisions involving large trucks in 2019. Among those fatalities, 67 percent were occupants of passenger vehicles, while 16 percent were in commercial vehicles.
While collisions involving large trucks do not occur as frequently as passenger vehicle accidents, truck accidents are devastating events that tend to leave victims with severe or catastrophic injuries and substantial financial losses. As a result, truck accident injury claims tend to be much larger than typical car accident injury claims.
In addition, truck accident cases are further complicated by the fact that multiple liable parties may be involved, such as the truck driver, the trucking company, the cargo loader, and the maintenance group.
If you were injured in an accident with a semi-truck, it’s important to protect your rights and hold negligent parties accountable for the damage they caused. Let an experienced South Carolina truck accident attorney help you navigate every step of a complicated truck accident claim.
Contact Powers Law, LLC today by calling or use our contact form to set up your free, no-obligation initial consultation.
Truck Accidents vs. Car Accidents
There are a significant number of differences between an accident with a semi-truck and one with a passenger vehicle. The most obvious difference is the size of the commercial trucks involved, which increases the risk of damage, injury, and death. Semi-truck engines are six times larger than those of cars, and the truck can weigh up to 80 thousand pounds and measure approximately 72 feet in length.
Compare that against an average car that measures 14.7 feet and may weigh approximately 4,000 pounds, depending on the make and model. As a result of the sheer size difference, injuries in truck accidents tend to be more severe and may even result in death.
Because of the severe damage they can cause, semi-trucks are required to carry insurance coverage with much higher liability limits than those required for passenger vehicles. For example, freight trucks may be required to have anywhere between $3,000,000 and $5,000,000 in liability coverage. However, trucking companies have aggressive insurance adjusters and highly trained lawyers. Their ultimate goal is to avoid paying large settlements.
Trucking companies must also follow specific federal regulations and safety standards. For example, trucking companies must conduct background checks, regulate the number of hours the driver can be on the road, and mandate drug and alcohol testing. When there is a violation of these regulations, the trucking company may be found liable for the accident.
Furthermore, in a truck accident, multiple parties may be liable for the truck accident, including:
The truck driver
The trucking company
The maintenance provider
The cargo loader
The truck manufacturer
Why It’s Crucial to Hire an Experienced Truck Accident Lawyer
Insurance companies have experience negotiating lower settlements and protecting their assets. You need someone experienced and skilled to protect your rights.
It is crucial to hire a South Carolina trucking accident attorney who can advise you on the steps to take after an accident with a semi-truck. A skilled and experienced law office will:
Meticulously investigate the accident
Secure evidence, such as the logbooks, driver training records, maintenance records, and data from the truck’s “black box”
Gather statements from eyewitnesses
Hire expert witnesses, such as medical and financial experts
Hire an accident reconstruction expert, if necessary
Negotiate assertively with insurance adjusters
Prepare your case for trial, in the event that the other side fails to offer fair compensation
You are not obligated to make statements to an insurance adjuster. It is in your best interest to allow your skilled attorney to negotiate with them. You may inadvertently say something the insurance company can use to deny your claim or reduce your settlement.
Why Choose Us?
The South Carolina trucking accident legal team at Powers Law, LLC has both the medical and legal knowledge to help protect your rights and seek compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and future medical expenses.
Every case is different, so your truck accident attorney will take the time to understand the specifics of your situation to help you decide your next best steps. Call Powers Law, LLC or contact us through our online form today for a free initial consultation.