The time after a car accident can be scary and overwhelming. Victims are forced to deal with physical injuries and emotional trauma, as well as begin to address any insurance, legal, or property concerns related to the accident.
The situation is even more complex after a collision with a commercial truck. Truck accidents are different from other types of traffic crashes. The stakes are higher, and the complications can quickly add up. If you or someone you love has suffered injuries in a truck accident, you need to know the unique challenges large truck crashes present.
Injuries in Truck Crashes are Typically More Severe
According to a report by the American Trucking Association, truck accidents are more likely to involve fatalities, and it is more often the occupants of the smaller vehicles who suffer these deadly consequences. In 2014, in fatal two-vehicle crashes involving a car and a large truck, 97 percent of the deaths were occupants in the smaller vehicle. Trucks are larger and heavier than passenger vehicles, and the smaller cars safety systems can only offer so much protection. Even with the advancing safety technology, cars simply cannot absorb the amount of energy created by such a large vehicle.
Large Trucks Can Inflict a Wider Range of Damage
With their large size and heavy weight, trucks also can inflict a wider range of damage than a smaller vehicle. Trucks take much longer to stop and can be prone to brake and tire problems. Once in a slide, they can be difficult to stop and may damage anything in their path. Additionally, rollover accidents are common truck accidents. In a rollover, an 80,000-pound truck can easily crush smaller vehicles or cause significant damage to other property.
Federal Regulations and Insurance Guidelines Can Complicate Matters
Finally, it is important to understand that truck drivers are professional drivers. They must adhere to a number of rules governing their driving behavior, truck maintenance, vehicle repairs, and more. When they fail to act appropriately, they can be held accountable. Additionally, trucking companies and their employers will do whatever they can to minimize the impact of the crash to their bottom line. In these cases, an experienced truck accident attorney can offer victims both knowledge and support. He can help identify and prove the negligence of truck drivers and trucking companies, as well as negotiate with insurance companies.
If you or someone you love has suffered injuries in a truck accident, it’s important for you to understand your rights in these serious and unique situations. Download a free copy of our book Transportation Law Rights & Injuries: Charting Your Legal Course of Action to learn more about truck accidents and your legal options.