What Are the Differences Between Truck Accidents and Car Accidents?
Many variables come into play when talking about different types of accidents. 18-wheeler accidents are scarier than car accidents because commercial trucks are immense in size and weight. So, the consequences tend to be more devastating than car accidents, but that’s not the only way 18-wheeler and car accidents differ.
A San Antonio personal injury lawyer analyzes the differences between truck and car accidents. Knowing how each type of accident can impact your life and compensation claim is crucial.
Truck Accidents Often Cause More Damage Than Car Accidents
Trucks can be as heavy as 80,000 pounds when loaded, 76,000 pounds more than an average vehicle. There’s very little chance, if any, for a car to withstand the force of being hit by an 18-wheeler without extreme damage. The passengers in the vehicle will often sustain catastrophic or fatal injuries.
Unfortunately, these deadly wrecks happen often. Since the damages in a truck accident could be more, the case could be more complicated. Don’t suffer in silence if you were injured in a truck accident. A San Antonio truck accident lawyer could help you pursue the compensation you deserve for the injuries.
What are the Types of Injuries in a Truck Accident?
In terms of injuries sustained in truck and car accidents, truck collisions often cause more severe and life-threatening outcomes. Truck accident victims often suffer from the following conditions:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Internal injuries
- Broken bones
- Soft-tissue injuries
Since the impact of a truck collision is more severe than that of a passenger vehicle, some victims lose their lives on the spot. If you lost a loved one to a truck accident, contact a skilled San Antonio truck accident attorney to help you file a wrongful death claim.
Determining Liability in an 18-Wheeler Accident Can Be Complicated
Investigating a truck accident to determine the at-fault party takes a lot of time. Multiple parties and factors could be at fault for an 18-wheeler accident, for example, the following:
- Driver recklessness, including distracted driving, falling asleep while driving, or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Negligence by the trucking company by violating hours of service or employing unqualified drivers
- Poor cargo handling by the loaders
- Poor truck maintenance by the truck company or service providers
- Defective parts by the manufacturer
Trucking companies often destroy records that could provide details of the events leading to the accident. These include logbooks, maintenance records, and black boxes, making it hard to determine liability.
On the contrary, the fault is often assigned to both drivers in a car accident, depending on the circumstances. Working with an experienced truck accident attorney in San Antonio is crucial to help you determine liability. They could hire the relevant experts to get to the bottom of the issue, which you may not be able to do on your own in pursuit of justice.
The Trucking Industry is Governed by Complex Laws
Filing a compensation claim following a truck accident is lengthy and complex compared to filing a car accident claim. Many laws, regulations, rules, and legal procedures can affect your claim.
Examples of these regulations are the following:
- The process of filing claims with multiple parties
- Restrictions on when logs can be erased
- Federal trucking regulations
Navigating these complex issues requires the involvement of a knowledgeable truck accident attorney in San Antonio. They understand the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration rules and can help you avoid making an error while filing a compensation claim.
Which Specific Laws Apply to Truck Accidents Only?
Some laws that apply to the commercial trucking industry and not to personal drivers include the following:
- Lower blood alcohol concentration (BAC): The limit is 0.04% instead of the standard 0.08%
- Hours of service regulations: Truck drivers should only drive up to 11 hours in a single day, be on duty for more than 14 hours every 24 hours, or drive without at least ten consecutive hours of rest off-duty.
- Record-keeping: Truck drivers and companies must keep detailed logs of truck maintenance, driver qualifications, drug and alcohol screenings, and hours-of-service compliance.
- Licensing requirements: Truckers must have a commercial driver’s license (CDL), governed by strict rules like training requirements, regular physical exams, and random drug testing. Any infraction could lead to a CDL suspension or revocation.
All these laws affect the outcome of your compensation claim and can make the case drag on for years. The rules governing motor vehicles are less complex, and you can settle the claim faster with the help of an aggressive lawyer.
Who Should I Sue in a Truck Accident Lawsuit?
A significant difference between truck and car accidents is that when a truck is involved, the lawsuit involves the trucking company. Since multiple parties could be liable for the accident, the chances are high that you could have a case against the driver and their trucking company.
When you have a claim against a trucking company, be prepared to deal with aggressive insurance adjusters. They often do all they can to shortchange you to avoid paying out large settlements. You should have a personal injury attorney in San Antonio to fight for your rights.
An Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Fighting for Your Rights After An Accident
If you got involved in a truck accident in San Antonio, prepare for a tough legal battle. Many factors and laws that don’t necessarily apply in a car accident could affect your compensation claim. Working with an aggressive truck accident lawyer in San Antonio can be the best chance of getting the most favorable outcome.
We provide legal counsel and representation for personal injury victims in San Antonio. Whether involved in a car or truck accident, the consequences can be severe, and we want to help you pursue compensation to help you rebuild your life. Call the Law Office of Matthew S. Norris at (210) 549-7633 to start a FREE case evaluation.