How Truck Wrecks Differ From Car Crashes
Truck Accident Lawyers Explain The Complexities Of A Big Rig Crash
The most obvious difference between a truck wreck and a regular motor vehicle collision is that trucks can easily cause much more extensive damage and catastrophic injuries simply due to their sheer size and weight as compared to passenger vehicles. A fully loaded truck can be over 25 times heavier than the average car, and so it can easily crush other vehicles. If a truck wreck happens at high speeds, then the potential for devastating damage increases radically. However, other factors unique to truck crashes also set them apart from other wrecks. The most common causes of trucking accidents are different than car crashes, and multiple parties may be to blame for the damages that result. Filing a personal injury claim for a truck accident therefore requires extensive investigation, far beyond a regular vehicle accident.
At the McArthur Law Firm, our truck accident lawyers have decades of experience handling the unique aspects of truck wreck cases. We work regularly with industry experts to investigate these crashes, and we are familiar with trucking industry regulations. In the past, we have obtained multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements for truck accident victims. In one such case, our lawyers served as co-counsel on a truck wreck case involving wrongful death and severe injuries. After a trial, the jury awarded our clients a verdict of $23.2 million.
How Can the Causes of a Truck Wreck Differ from a Car Crash?
Commercial truck crashes may result from a wide variety of causes which can differ significantly from the causes of regular car wrecks. Some of the most common causes of trucking accidents include:
- Equipment failure. Vehicle defects and/or mechanical failure can cause or contribute to any collision. However, the engines and brakes of a big rig truck often operate differently and require frequent maintenance checks. Negligent trucking companies may ignore or overlook these safety checks in the interests of profit, causing preventable equipment failure.
- Noncompliance with trucking industry regulations. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) sets and enforces regulations for the trucking industry to ensure safety. These regulations include requirements for regular maintenance checks, driver training and operating procedures. When trucking companies ignore these regulations, the risk of truck wrecks increases dramatically. This type of negligence is often the root cause of other potential causes of truck accidents. For example, an accident may result from a tire blowout. However, closer investigation may reveal that the trucking company failed to install new tires in a timely manner, causing the blowout.
- Driver inexperience. Driving a big rig truck requires specialized training and a commercial driver’s license (CDL). An inexperienced driver may not know how to handle the different physical dynamics of a large truck, and, thus, may make preventable errors.
- Driver fatigue. FMCSA trucking industry regulations also limit the amount of time drivers may spend on the road. This reduces the risk of driver fatigue, which can cause driver errors and trucking accidents. Drivers must also keep a logbook detailing the time they spend driving to ensure they do not go over the limit. Still, trucking companies sometimes pressure their drivers to falsify these logbooks and drive long hours.
How is a Truck Accident Lawsuit Unique?
After a regular car crash, you typically can collect compensation from the at-fault driver’s car insurance policy. In contrast, after a truck wreck you usually file a claim against the trucking company, which is responsible for its truck and its driver. In some cases, you may be able to collect compensation from other parties as well.
Finding all liable parties after a truck accident usually involves an extensive investigation. This includes inspecting the wreckage as well as obtaining records of inspections, the driver’s logbook and other documentation for the truck. Time may also be a factor, as trucking companies often work quickly to minimize their responsibility after a crash. Therefore, if you or a loved one sustain serious injuries in a wreck, contact a team of experienced truck accident lawyers as soon as possible.
At the McArthur Law Firm, our lawyers work with truck experts to fully investigate these kinds of collisions. We often hire an accident reconstructionist to prepare a visual representation of how the crash occurred. We also take steps to acquire any electronic recordings or data from the truck, which may have an electronic logbook or black box. If equipment failure was to blame, then we can determine if manufacturer negligence ultimately caused the wreck. This can then increase your options for compensation.
Need Legal Help After a Truck Crash Injury? Contact Our Law Firm Today
Truck accident claims are uniquely complex due to the nature of the trucking industry and the design of most trucks. Therefore, if you sustained serious injuries or lost a loved one in a trucking accident, then contact a truck accident attorney from our law firm right away. We can begin an investigation immediately to recover vital evidence for your personal injury claim.