Power trucking accidents are one of the most dangerous types of road accidents, and they differ significantly from car accidents in several ways. The most apparent difference between a truck and a car is their size and weight. Trucks are much bigger and heavier than cars. While an average car weighs about 4,000 pounds, an SUV maybe 5,000 pounds, a big rig 18-wheeler tractor-trailer can weigh between 35,000 pounds when it’s empty and up to 80,000 pounds when it’s full. This means that the force and momentum generated during a truck accident are significantly more massive than in a car accident.
Due to the significant size and weight of trucks, the injuries sustained in a trucking accident can be much more severe than in a car accident. When a truck collides with a car, the force generated is tremendous, and the car’s occupants are at risk of serious injury or death. The injuries sustained in a trucking accident can include spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, internal injuries, and even fatalities.
Here are some of the major differences between car and truck accidents:
- Severity of Injuries: Truck accidents often result in more severe injuries due to the large size and weight of trucks.
- Liability: Liability in truck accidents is often more complex than in car accidents, as multiple parties may be responsible, including the truck driver, trucking company, and manufacturer.
- Regulations: There are specific regulations governing the operation of commercial trucks, including hours of service, maintenance, and weight restrictions, which can affect liability in truck accidents.
- Investigation: The investigation process for truck accidents is often more extensive than for car accidents due to the complexity of the case and the need to identify all responsible parties.
- Insurance Coverage: Trucking companies are required to carry higher levels of insurance coverage than individual car owners, which can affect the amount of compensation available for victims.
- Evidence Preservation: Evidence in truck accident cases, such as the truck’s black box data, must be preserved immediately following an accident, or it may be lost.
- Expert Witnesses: Truck accident cases often require expert witnesses, such as accident reconstruction specialists, to testify on behalf of the victim.
- Driver Training: Commercial truck drivers are required to undergo specialized training, and failure to do so can result in liability in a truck accident.
- Fatigue: Truck drivers are at higher risk of fatigue due to long hours on the road, which can contribute to accidents.
- Vehicle Maintenance: Trucking companies are responsible for maintaining their vehicles, and failure to do so can result in liability in a truck accident.
- Road Conditions: Road conditions can affect trucks differently than cars due to their size and weight, and may contribute to truck accidents.
- Braking: Trucks require more distance to come to a stop than cars, which can contribute to accidents.
- Speed: Trucks are often limited in their speed by law, and failure to comply with speed limits can contribute to truck accidents.
- Cargo: Improperly secured or overloaded cargo can contribute to truck accidents.
- Driver Distractions: Truck drivers may face unique distractions, such as communicating with dispatch or navigating unfamiliar routes, which can contribute to accidents.
- Visibility: Trucks have larger blind spots than cars, which can contribute to accidents.
- Weather Conditions: Trucks may be more difficult to operate in adverse weather conditions, which can contribute to accidents.
- Interstate Jurisdiction: Truck accidents may occur across state lines, which can affect jurisdiction and liability in the case.
Determining Liability for Trucking Accidents
In addition to the increased risk of injury, trucking accidents also present unique challenges when it comes to determining liability. In many cases, trucking accidents are caused by driver error, including fatigue, distracted driving, or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. However, determining liability in a trucking accident can be complicated, as multiple parties may be responsible, including the truck driver, the trucking company, and the truck’s manufacturer.
If you’ve been involved in a serious trucking accident, it’s essential to seek legal representation from experienced personal injury attorneys who can help you navigate the complex legal process. A skilled attorney can investigate the accident, determine liability, and help you pursue compensation for your injuries, medical bills, lost wages, and other damages.
Seek Immediate Medical Attention
It’s also important to seek medical attention immediately following a trucking accident, even if you don’t feel any pain or discomfort. Some injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries, may not present symptoms for days or even weeks after the accident. By seeking medical attention right away, you can ensure that you receive the proper treatment and that your injuries are well-documented, which can be crucial when pursuing a personal injury claim.
Talk to an Experienced Truck Accident Lawyer Today
An experienced truck accident attorney can help you navigate the legal process and pursue compensation for your injuries while seeking medical attention can ensure that you receive the proper treatment for any injuries sustained in the accident. Establishing liability for truck accidents in Virginia is complex. At Geoff McDonald & Associates, we can examine your case and help you identify all potentially liable parties. If you are eligible to pursue compensation for your injuries, property damage, and other losses, we can support you at every step of the process.
Call or fill out our contact form to book a free consultation with our experienced truck accident attorneys.