Even though they both involve vehicles, normal auto accidents are much different than semi truck accidents.
Trucking accidents are those of semi trucks, 18-wheelers, and tractor-trailers.
Those big trucks frequently weigh 20-30 times more than passenger cars. They’re also taller and have higher ground clearance. Unfortunately, this often results in smaller vehicles under riding trucks in crashes.
Either way, 1.25 million people die from road crashes every year, and an additional 20 to 50 million are injured. While all road crashes are grouped, there are many differences between normal auto accidents and semi truck accidents.
There are several ways in which semi truck accidents differ from normal auto accidents. Keep reading to learn all about what they are.
Table of Contents
They Are Dealt With Differently
Disputes associated with trucking accidents are not simple or straightforward.
When it comes to accidents with vehicles like semi trucks and 18-wheelers, there are so many possible causes of a crash.
When it comes to the average auto accident, the cause is generally due to human error. Sometimes a driver will fail to stop at a red light or decide to change lanes without signaling.
Plus, so many automobile drivers do other things while they drive, like text or put on makeup.
As it pertains to trucking accidents, a large portion of the responsibility for an accident will still be at the hands of the driver. However, it may be indirect, and it may implicate the trucking company.
When this happens, they are also held liable for the accident. This liability can be partial or full, depending on the crash.
Equipment Failure Plays a Significant Role in Trucking Accidents
Equipment failure causes a lot of trucking accidents. But it doesn’t necessarily free the driver from liability.
It’s the driver’s responsibility to conduct inspections before each trip. A truck driver should be confident that all equipment is both healthy and functioning correctly.
If the piece of equipment that caused an accident could have been addressed, had the driver carried out a routine inspection, the driver is responsible.
Equipment failure could also implicate the trucking company itself if a lawyer can prove that the company acted in negligence.
If you’re ever in a trucking accident, take as many photos as possible. It helps indicate either driver error or equipment failure.
Compensation Works Differently
When injuries occur as a result of a trucking accident, the law dictates that the responsible party place the victim back in their prior position – both financially and physically.
This is difficult to determine immediately following the accident.
Many people in this position opt to sue the parties involved. Victims of trucking accidents deserve compensation, just like car accidents. Payment for things like medical bills and loss of earnings and productivity is standard.
Those involved in accidents with semi trucks are also entitled to additional damages. Potential compensation covers pain and suffering, emotional suffering, inconvenience, loss of employment life, diminishment of relations with a spouse, and disfigurement.
Some states limit the amount of non-economic damages that may be rewarded to a victim.
Licenses and Potential Negligence
Every state has its regulations in addition to federal ones as it pertains to commercial trucking.
Most drivers have undergone specialized training and education. Drivers must possess commercial driver’s licenses that match their level of training.
If an accident occurs and the driver doesn’t possess the proper requisites for the job, the trucking company they work for could be held liable.
The Injuries Differ
One of the most significant semi truck accident differences from auto accidents is the extent of injuries of the victims.
The average car weighs about 3,000 pounds, whereas the average fully-loaded semi truck weighs more than 80,000 pounds.
It’s easy to see how the results could be much worse in an accident with a semi truck. This is why truckers are required to complete education and training and to carry appropriate licenses.
It’s also why they carry insurance with substantial liability limits, ones that are much higher than normal liability limits. This ensures that there is more money available to compensate injured parties.
Fuel Fires, Braking, and Rollovers
If a truck’s diesel fuel comes into contact with a battery spark, it’s likely to catch fire. The battery should be protected from being crushed in the event of an accident.
Sometimes the battery is located in a vulnerable position. When this is the case, and an explosion occurs, the party responsible for putting it there will probably share the damages.
Many semi truck accidents happen because of brake malfunction. There are many causations for brake malfunction, so an investigation is often necessary to determine who’s at fault.
Rollovers are another major cause of injuries and fatalities in trucking accidents. They’re caused by driver error, curving too fast, driving too fast, driving tired, and driving with a truck malfunction. Highway conditions also cause rollovers.
Semi Truck Accidents Call for a Lawyer
When it comes to auto accidents, there isn’t always a need to call a lawyer.
But semi truck accidents are more significant than car accidents. They also cause more detrimental injuries.
Plus, there are so many outside factors, like lack of training or bad battery positioning.
Lawyers get involved in investigating further and determining who was at fault, and what compensation should be awarded.
Speaking of bigger vehicles, are you getting ready to take your RV out for a road trip? If so, check out our travel section for all things RVs and how to stay safe.