How Are Truck Accidents Different from Car Accidents?
The typical car accident can be a jarring, difficult, and emotionally traumatic affair. Between dealing with injuries, property damage, and missing work, not to mention the associated financial and legal complications, even the average car crash is likely to upend your life for some time. When a traffic accident involves a semi-truck, eighteen-wheeler, tractor-trailer, or other large truck, matters can quickly become much more complicated, and much more grave. Read on below for a discussion of some of the ways in which truck accidents are different than car accidents.
More property damage, more serious injuries
Semi-trucks are massive machines. They are many sizes larger and weigh thousands of pounds more than a typical passenger car. Moreover, they are often carrying hauls that can create additional hazards, such as logging materials, manufacturing equipment, or hazardous chemicals. Any impact with a truck is thus much more likely to lead to massive property damage and serious injury.
Liability can be much more complicated
A typical car accident has very few parties involved: The driver of each car, other pedestrians or bikers who were caught up in the accident, and possibly the manufacturer of the vehicle if a defective car part came into play. Semi-truck accidents can be much more complicated. Truckers are typically working for a freight company, which in turn may be hired by another company to haul goods. Truck parts or other safety equipment may break down.
After an accident involving a semi-truck, you have to consider whether to file against the truck driver, the trucking company, the company that hired them, the vehicle manufacturer, or the manufacturer of any particular trucking gear such as hours of service trackers. Each party will have its own insurance, its own applicable rules and regulations, and its own unique defense to liability. Each party may be located in a different state, further complicating matters. A dedicated truck accident lawyer can help you parse through the various parties and determine what claims to file, where to file them, and how to build your strongest case for liability.
Different laws and regulations apply
Auto drivers follow traffic laws. Truck drivers are responsible for following those traffic laws as well as a host of additional safety regulations. Truckers must follow certain rules regarding the hours they work and mandatory rest time, safety training, safety equipment, truck maintenance, special driver’s licenses, annual inspections, logbook keeping, and many others. Truckers and freight companies also must deal with laws and regulations in each state they cross.
If you were hurt in a truck crash, there might be hundreds of laws and regulations that affect whether the truck driver or their employer was acting negligently, which in turn affects whether and how much you can recover. State laws from every state they crossed and even federal laws may apply. If you were injured by a truck driver, you need the help of an experienced and dedicated truck accident attorney.
If you or a loved one has been hurt or killed in an accident involving a large truck in central Florida, you may be entitled to compensation for damages. Contact Rothenburg Law Firm in Ocala today for more information and a free legal consultation.