Truck accidents and car accidents vary significantly in terms of the severity of injuries and the circumstances in which they occur. Truck accidents usually occur as a result of their large size, while car accidents happen due to driver errors. Injuries from a truck accident can take months or even years to heal, while some may require lifelong care.
It’s helpful to know who you can hold liable and the types of injuries you may be dealing with after you are hit by a truck. Having a lawyer after a commercial truck collides with your vehicle is beneficial. Knowing how truck accidents are different from car accidents can help you prepare the proper evidence.
Injuries From Truck Accidents Are More Likely to Be Life-Altering
The average commercial truck weighs about 80,000 pounds and can be up to 72 feet long. They cover more area of the lane, so if they tip over, they can crush multiple cars at a time. In comparison to cars, the injuries that result from truck accidents are more severe and have a higher chance of fatality.
The most common injury from trucking accidents is traumatic brain injuries and other severe injuries to the head and face. These can be lacerations, concussions, or other types of head trauma.
However, there are other injuries that victims of truck accidents can suffer from. Other injuries that occur the most often in truck accidents include:
- Broken bones
- Neck and back injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Internal injuries
Truck Accidents Are Unpredictable
When you’re driving behind a car, you know the way they move and can identify problematic behavior beforehand to prevent an accident. But when you’re driving behind a truck, it’s a different story.
Commercial trucks are heavy, and their weight can shift dramatically in a short amount of time. The shifting of their weight isn’t always noticeable when you’re driving at high speed on the highway. While you’re focused on driving, they can easily drift over into your lane without any warning and cause an accident.
There’s also no sure way to tell if a truck driver can see you or if you’re in their blind spot. For example, you may be driving next to a truck, and believe that the truck driver sees you. But this is not true, and the truck merges into the next lane and hits your car, causing an unforeseen accident.
Multiple Parties Can Be Liable in a Truck Accident
Another way truck accidents differ from car accidents is there are usually just one or two parties that can be liable in a car accident. Truck accidents can have multiple parties who are liable for the accident. We’ll go over the parties that can be at fault in a truck accident so you know the potential parties that you can file a claim against.
The Driver of the Truck
The truck driver is the person responsible for the truck’s maneuvers and driving behavior on the road. Drivers can be liable for an accident for various reasons.
Some of the most common reasons truck drivers are liable for an accident are reckless driving and being under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Both of these things impact the safety of other drivers on the road as well as the truck driver. A majority of the time, when a truck driver hits another driver, they are the one who is accountable for the damages.
However, if an investigation proves that the trucking company was negligent, the trucking company may also share some of the fault. If this is the case, the trucking company and the truck driver wil bothl be responsible for damages.
The Trucking Company
The trucking company is another party that can be responsible for damages in a truck accident. If a truck driver gets into an accident and an inspection later discovers that the company skipped an inspection or pushed drivers past their limits to meet deadlines, the company can be held liable.
When trucking companies push their drivers to drive quicker to increase productivity in the company, they are not only risking road safety they are also damaging their drivers’ mental and physical health. When truck driver takes advantage of their employees like this, it’s time for a lawyer to intervene.
The Mechanic Responsible for the Truck
After truck drivers complete a trip, mechanics examine the truck to address any problems the driver experienced and checks the truck to prevent issues for future trips. Mechanics often inspect the engine and a variety of parts of the vehicle to check for issues that could lead to an accident.
The trucking company is usually the party that orders an inspection, but every situation is different. If a mechanic fails to perform the inspection after the trucking company orders it and a truck driver gets into an accident, the mechanic can be held responsible.
Mechanics can also be at fault if they ignore or do not identify potential issues that are reasonably noticeable or if they perform faulty maintenance. A lawyer can help determine if the accident was a result of the trucking company’s negligence, a mechanic’s, or both.
Manufacturers are supposed to make quality truck parts, but that doesn’t always happen. Many times manufacturing companies issue recalls for parts that have a defect. This is what the companies should do but some manufacturers neglect this crucial step.
There are times when parts will have a defect, and the manufacturer knows about them but doesn’t notify the truck driver or the general public. If the faulty part ends up causing an accident, the manufacturer can be held liable for any damages incurred.
Talk to Our Dedicated Truck Accident Attorneys
At the Buzbee Law Firm, we take your injuries seriously, and we pursue the parties responsible for them. We don’t cut corners to get you a quick and small settlement. We will fight for you tirelessly until you get the compensation you deserve. Our 18-wheeler accident attorneys can help you navigate the legal process.
If you were hit by a commercial truck, our team of lawyers can help you recover compensation for your injuries. Call us or fill out the form on our contact page for a free consultation where we can verify your case and the amount of damages you are likely to receive.
If you have any other questions about the differences between truck and car accidents, we’ll be happy to answer them.