How Are Truck Accidents Different from Other Auto Accidents
Posted on Monday, September 20th, 2021
Being involved in a car accident or a truck accident is a traumatic experience that comes with potentially life-altering consequences. The damage done to your body and your mental and emotional health can be severe and debilitating. If your accident involves an 18-wheeler semi-truck, the injuries you sustain can be very different from those you’d get in a crash with another car.
The causes of truck accidents can be unique given the size of the vehicle, their additional blind spots, their added weight, and the fact that they often contain cargo. Additionally, pinpointing who is liable to compensate you for your injuries can be more complex than determining the liable party in a car accident. This is because most truck drivers are employees of trucking companies, and as a result, a company may be liable for its employees’ actions.
Difference Between Truck and Auto Accidents
Both trucking and auto accidents can cause severe injuries and damage to vehicles. But the causes, severity of injuries, and who may be liable for compensating you as a result of truck accidents can differ from other vehicle accidents.
Accidents can be caused by numerous actions and events, many of which truck and auto accidents have in common. Some of the shared, frequent causes of auto and truck accidents are:
- Driver fatigue
- Driver intoxication by alcohol or drugs
- Driver inexperience
- Mechanical failure
- Adverse weather events
Some actions, however, may make the truck driver liable due to FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) rules and regulations that govern the trucking industry and truck drivers, specifically. For example, the FMCSA has rules stating how many hours a truck driver can drive and how many hours they are required to rest. If a truck accident is caused by driver fatigue and the truck driver exceeded the number of hours they are permitted to drive by the FMCSA, the truck driver’s violation of the FMCSA rule strengthens your claim as to their liability.
If the trucking accident was caused by mechanical failure, an investigation would be done into whether the mechanical failure was a result of inaction by the driver or their employer. This is because the FMCSA requires trucking companies to conduct a routine inspection and specific maintenance on their fleet.
While there are common causes for all auto accidents, some of them can exacerbate the risks and severity of a collision when they result in an accident with a truck. Trucks, on average, weigh 35,000 pounds. When fully loaded, they can reach up to 80,000 pounds (the maximum national legal weight for semi-trucks). A massive vehicle like this can cause severe damage when it collides with a passenger vehicle and can cause serious, life-threatening, or fatal injuries. Additionally, the size of the load attached to a semi-truck can increase the risk of an accident when a truck driver is speeding. An improperly balanced load can make the truck prone to rolling over.
You can suffer various injuries in a trucking and auto accident, such as:
- Spinal cord injuries or paralysis
- Brain injuries, including concussions and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Neck and back injuries
- Broken limbs and bones
- Cuts and bruises
- Organ damage
- Visual and hearing impairment or loss
- Mental disorders, such as anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Because of the size and weight of trucks, injuries sustained from the impact with them can be more severe.
If you’ve been severely injured in either a truck or an auto accident, you may be entitled to compensation from the person who caused the accident. In a car accident, if the other driver is found to be liable for the accident, meaning someone else caused the accident, you would be entitled to compensation from the other driver or their insurance company. In a trucking accident, if the truck driver is found to be liable for the accident, you may be entitled to compensation paid by the truck driver, their employer, or their employer’s insurance company. Because of how the trucking industry is governed, trucking companies have a responsibility for the acts of their truck driver employees and for the trucks their employees drive.
Call Us Today
If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck or auto accident through no fault of your own, call the truck accident attorneys at OnderLaw, LLC today. We have decades-long experience helping accident victims get the compensation they deserve for their injuries. Call us for a free consultation at (314) 963-9000 or contact us online.