Commercial Truck Crashes vs. Car Accidents: Key Differences
While all auto accidents have the potential for creating profound short- and long-term setbacks in the lives of victims and their families, the type of accident that occurs can introduce a number of key differences when it comes to pursuing a claim for compensation. These differences are especially noticeable between wrecks involving commercial trucks and those involving passenger vehicles.
At Fleming | Nolen | Jez, L.L.P., our nationwide personal injury lawyers have advocated on behalf of seriously injured victims and families across the country, including those harmed in both truck accidents and standard car accidents. While all victims required a need for justice and compensation, meeting those needs often entails consideration of the unique elements involved. To help you understand some of the key differences between these crashes, we have put together the following list:
- Strict Regulations – There are laws that apply to everyone on the road, including laws regarding alcohol use, safe speeds, and even cell phone use or texting. While those laws may apply to both commercial truckers and regular drivers, truckers and the companies they work for must also abide by a number of other state and federal regulations. Trucking regulations are designed to manage the additional risks commercial trucks pose to public safety, and they are enforced in a variety of ways. For example, there are regulations that limit the amount of hours truckers are able to work behind the wheel, as well as mandatory drug testing requirements. Trucking companies must also abide by strict regulations involving regular vehicle maintenance, weight limits, proper cargo loading and securement, and more. Violations of these regulations can lead to preventable wrecks, which is why it becomes vital to conduct thorough investigations into potential safety failures.
- Potential Liability – While there are many similar potential causes of car accidents and truck accidents, and many parties that can be held liable, those causes and parties can distinctly different. In trucking accidents, for example, safety violations may ultimately be the responsibility of trucking companies that own commercial vehicles and employ commercial drivers, or third party maintenance companies that are contracted to inspect and maintain trucks.
- Serious Injuries – Trucking accidents and car accidents both have the potential to result in devastating injuries and death, but those risks are significantly increased in trucking accidents. As such, truck accident victims commonly suffer serious and catastrophic injuries, including lifelong impairments, as well as death. Due to these serious injuries and elevated costs and losses associated with them, victims of trucking accidents tend to have elevated needs for compensation.
- Corporate Defense – In nearly all car accident cases, claims are defended against by an at-fault driver’s insurance company, which are themselves corporations that want to pay victims as little as possible. However, in trucking cases, claims may be defended by trucking companies themselves, or both trucking companies and their commercial insurance providers. Because truck accident cases often put more one the line when it comes to payouts, these corporations fight aggressively to dispute, deny, and underpay claims.
While there are indeed similarities between truck accidents and car accidents, the unique issues presented by each highlight victims’ needs for working with attorneys who have proven experience handling the type of accident they were involved in. At Fleming | Nolen | Jez, L.L.P., our attorneys have leveraged more than 170 years of combined experience to handle a range of trucking and car accident cases, and is prepared to put our insight to work for any victim and family that reaches out for help.
If you have questions about a potential case and your rights, call (713) 621-7944 for a FREE consultation.