10 Feb The Difference Between a Car and Truck Accident Lawsuit
There are more than 7.2 million car accidents every year on US roads and highways. This number includes collisions involving both trucks and personal vehicles, though the two types of accidents are significantly different. In this article, we’ll discuss the inherent differences experienced among these types of accidents and their associated lawsuits.
Trucks weigh more than 20 to 30 times more than the average car. They are also longer and taller, and as such, they account for 287,000 insurance property damage claims, more than 77,000 injuries, and over 4,300 deaths each year. But it is not only the size and weight of these particular vehicles that complicate truck accidents. If you or a loved one is involved in a truck accident, keep these unique aspects of a truck accident lawsuit in mind.
Difference between a car and truck accident lawsuit:
- Trucks carry more insurance than other types of vehicles. Personal car insurance is determined by an individual’s state requirements, their driving record, personal information, and the type of vehicle. However, 18-wheelers are a different story. Semis hold separate liability coverage than cars. This depends on under whom the truck’s driver operates. If the truck is owner-operated, insurance policies will typically cost between $3,000 and $5,000 per year. And if a truck is owner-operated that leases a carrier, policies will tend to charge an average of $9,000 to $12,000 each year. These numbers can also be influenced by:
- Their cargo
- The monetary value of their truck
- The age of the driver
- Their experience with a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL)
- Their credit history
- Their payment structure
- And their payment history
Policies can be worth millions, which is why insurance companies are willing to spend a lot of money to fight claims and hire the best adjusters for their cases.
- Semi-truck operators follow federal law and guidelines. As passenger vehicles must follow state and local traffic regulations, semis have federal regulations to follow as well. If a truck violates these, an 18-wheeler settlement could look a lot different. These regulations exist because trucks regularly travel across multiple states. And so, all semi drivers and trucking companies must register with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the Department of Transportation (DOT). These regulate certain items like how much a truck can haul and how long someone can drive in a specified timespan. Truckers and their corresponding companies must meet special qualifications and inspections as well as keep accurate logbooks that detail what they haul, to where they drive, and how long they take to get there. These all could be a great resource in determining fault in a truck accident lawsuit.
- Different evidence will be presented in court for a truck accident lawsuit. And as such, semi-truck accident attorneys have a different set of evidence to collect. These are categorized by that which applies to the truck driver, the vehicle itself, and its cargo. Lawyers will assess the driver’s qualifications and training, as well as drug and alcohol screenings and the driver’s hours of service documents. Then, they will likely address any evidence related to the truck, including its maintenance and inspection histories, the GPS and onboard system, weigh station reports, bills of lading, and dispatch instructions. This must all be collected by the attorney within a short timeframe as the FMCSA only requires truckers to keep records for a set amount of time.
- Trucks operate differently. Due to their weight and size, trucks operate in a much different manner than cars. They take longer to stop and start and require more space and special handling to maneuver. So to aid such specialized driving, drivers often depend on certain pieces of equipment and software. That’s why in the wake of an accident, there is more to consider than just the injuries and damage that’s incurred. Equipment failure of any kind could play a significant factor in a semi-truck accident. It is, therefore, crucial that the trucking company or owner ensures that the truck is well-maintained and operates without explicit issues.
- Medical bills and compensation are often higher. Semi-truck accidents tend to cause more significant injuries than car accidents, resulting in higher medical bills. And as such, compensation for these injuries is typically higher.
- Liability could look different. Proving liability in court is exceptionally challenging when it comes to a semi-truck accident. And as such, it is imperative that an attorney represents you. The guidelines that truckers and trucking companies must follow prompt the need for an experienced truck accident lawyer.
If you or a loved one has suffered in a semi-truck accident, do not hesitate to reach out for legal assistance. We at The Law Offices of William D. Shapiro are proud to offer expert legal counsel in this challenging time. Do not face this setback alone; call on us today for impactful advocacy and trusted help with your truck accident lawsuit.