While car accidents are generally more common than truck accidents, truck wrecks account for a much larger percentage of fatal traffic crashes. That’s because trucks are much heavier than cars, and drivers are more likely to have been operating the vehicle for an extended period of time. Trucking accidents differ significantly from vehicle accidents due to:
- Bad road conditions
- Low visibility
- Excessive speed
Of course, there are equally dangerous factors that contribute to car accidents, such as:
- Driver distraction
- Lack of seatbelt use
- Impaired driving
To lessen the chance of a crash in either circumstance, drivers must maintain constant attention and follow all traffic laws. As personal injury attorneys, we witness both types of incidents and have handled accident caseloads for both trucks and cars.
Learn more about the distinctions between a truck accident and a car accident and how an accident attorney may assist you in ensuring that you receive the justice you deserve from either incident.
Do Truck Accidents Have Larger Settlements Than Car Wrecks?
Yes, because truck accidents are more dangerous to people’s health and property, they can result in much higher settlement sums.
Truck accident injuries are frequently severe enough to be classified as catastrophic. A catastrophic injury is one that, both legally and medically, alters the rest of a person’s life. These injuries necessitate intensive care and have long-term consequences that survivors must deal with.
Aside from being medically demanding, these injuries create a financial drain on people due to the high expense of medical treatment and the fact that they frequently force a person to lose their ability to work as they once did.
What Characteristics Are Weighed Differently in a Car Accident vs. a Truck Accident When Seeking Damages?
Truck accidents are different from car accidents in the following ways:
- Size/force: A semi-truck is 20 to 30 times bigger than a standard car, weighing up to 80,000 pounds. Because of this, trucks need up to 40% more space than cars to stop and lessen the force of impact.
- Injuries: Cars are less likely to suffer severe injuries if hit by another passenger car than if hit by an 18-wheeler.
- Legal regulations: Trucking regulations and insurance policy limits are examples of differing legal requirements between cars and big rigs/tractor-trailor trucks.
- Multiple parties accountable: Multiple parties such as the driver, trucking company, manufacturer, and the company responsible for cargo loading can be held accountable if a truck crash occurs.
How Is Determining Negligence Different in Car Accidents Than in Truck Accidents?
Proving fault in a car accident is easier than proving fault in a truck accident, simply because there are fewer parties that can be deemed liable. For instance, in a car wreck: drivers, the car manufacturer, and possibly the city may be held responsible for the accident.
However, in truck accidents: the driver, the trucking company, cargo loading organization, mechanic facility, government entity, and the car manufacturer can all be held liable for the wreck simultaneously.
Do All Vehicle Accidents Require a Lawyer?
In terms of retaining a lawyer for a car accident versus a truck wreck, there is no difference in requirements, but an attorney can greatly assist both with defending their rights and obtaining a fair compensation package.
An accident injury lawyer can assist with:
- Investigating the details of your accident separately from insurance if needed
- Managing medical expenses
- Providing resources for rental cars or medical referrals
- Negotiating your settlement with the insurance company
- Filing necessary documents in a timely fashion
- Defending you in court if your case goes to trial
There may be a variety of differences in the evidence considered between a car and a truck accident, but a personal injury attorney is equipped to handle both types of auto wrecks throughout the entire settlement process.
Is the Statute of Limitations Different for Car Accidents Than It Is for Truck Accidents?
Regardless of the kind of car accident, all collisions that cause injuries must adhere to the statute of limitations set forth by their state’s laws. In Texas, plaintiffs seeking compensation have up to two years from the date of the injury to file a lawsuit and demand monetary damages.
While there are a few exceptions, the majority of people who have been injured must file a claim before the deadline passes or risk losing their chance to recover damages.
After establishing the distinction between vehicle accidents and truck accidents, we hope that you are empowered to make an informed decision regarding your case. Working with a lawyer who has expertise in trucking accident claims can positively impact the outcome of your claim.
Our Texas car and truck accident lawyers are pioneers in truck accident litigation, holding trucking firms and other parties responsible for the most severe collisions in Texas.
If you have any additional questions regarding trucking or motor vehicle accidents, don’t hesitate to contact us for a free consultation.