How Auto Accidents Differ From Truck Accidents
Legally Reviewed and Edited by: Terry Cochran
Auto accidents and truck accidents can both have horrendous consequences. However, you should be aware of the differences between the two and the varying legal implications for the parties involved in a motor vehicle accident with a truck versus a regular passenger vehicle.
These types of accidents also require legal differentiation and the guidance of lawyers who are versed in truck accident laws. Hire an attorney experienced in winning claims related to truck and auto accidents at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C.
According to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, one in ten deaths on highways involve commercial trucks. And because of their size, the injuries caused by accidents involving trucks are often more severe than those caused by other cars. This is why it’s critical to understand how truck accidents differ from auto accidents when evaluating a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit following an accident on the road.
Truck Accidents are Subject to Unique Laws
There are unique laws governing truck accidents because of the safety regulations trucks operate under. Many trucks involved in accidents are often from out of state. Trucks engaged in interstate traffic are governed by Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulations (Title 49, parts 350-399). As Michigan’s Department of Public Safety has adopted parts 382-384 and 390-399 of these regulations, including provisions concerning alcohol use, safety, maintenance, and service hours, these laws are now applicable to all trucks driving on Michigan roads.
For example, trucking companies must keep records of a driver’s hours and equipment safety, which attorneys have the right to consult if they are investigating a personal injury or wrongful death claim involving a commercial truck.
If a truck accident occurred because a truck driver was fatigued from working too many hours, or the damage in a collision was compounded by unsafely secured equipment, then the trucking company records can be seized as evidence of negligent behavior by either the driver, company, or both.
Key Differences Between Auto Accident and Truck Accident Cases
An experienced attorney can help you navigate the complex differences between truck accidents and auto accidents to win your claim.
Severity of Injuries
The most apparent difference between auto accidents and collisions involving a large truck is that accidents resulting from such a collision are statistically more likely to have caused serious injuries and wrongful death because of their larger size and mass of at least 10,000 lbs.
The even larger tractor-trailer trucks that can legally weigh up to 80,000 lbs. can cause even more serious accidents and create multiple-vehicle crashes. Because of the size and weight of these vehicles, they can be challenging to bring to a halt quickly or to turn if something unexpected happens on the road.
Cause of the Accident
A significant difference between car accidents and truck accidents is also the potential cause. While most car accidents result from human error, trucking accidents can occur simply due to the size of the vehicle. Its heavy weight makes it challenging to stop, and therefore slick roads, poor visibility, and other elements beyond the driver’s control could factor into the crash.
Who is Liable
With multiple-vehicle crashes, several parties may be involved who can be held liable for negligence, making truck crashes more complex legally than auto accidents. Because the truck driver is working on behalf of a company, the trucking company may be liable for your injuries if they overscheduled the driver leading to fatigue. Or, if the accident occurred due to a mechanical failure with the truck, the vehicle’s manufacturer may also be at fault.
Gathering evidence and information is a different process in truck accidents from regular auto accidents. With auto accidents, evidence is usually collected from police reports, eyewitnesses, and accident scene investigations.
For truck accidents, evaluating evidence also requires investigating driver records, trucking logs, safety records, and the injuries of the truck accident victim.
Insurance companies representing trucking companies will often offer a settlement quickly before all this evidence can be evaluated. It is essential not to accept the first offer, as it will be substantially lower than what can be won in a personal injury lawsuit. Consult a skilled attorney at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. instead.
Seeking Help After an Accident
Our road accident lawyers have decades of experience guiding victims of motor vehicle accidents through the long and arduous journey of recovery by helping them seek and gain compensation for their suffering as they work to rebuild their lives.
If you were in an accident in which another driver was at fault due to negligent driving, then you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Both truck and auto accidents can result in severe bodily harm, pain and suffering, property damage, and other economic and non-economic losses.
If you have experienced severe injuries due to an accident involving a truck, your no-fault option coverage may not offer sufficient coverage for your medical expenses, pain and suffering, and loss of income.
Michigan Truck Accident Lawyers
Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. has a track record of securing compensation for victims of motor vehicle accidents and many others through successful personal injury cases that bring negligent drivers to justice. Our senior partner, Eileen Kroll, is a registered nurse and brings her medical background to our personal injury cases, ensuring your health records can help support your claim.
If you have been in an accident involving a truck or another car, contact us for a free consultation. We can assist you in alleviating financial stress during this challenging time. Call us at 866-MICH-LAW or use our online contact form to set up a meeting and ease the financial burden so you can focus on your recovery. Due to our contingency fee, you are not required to pay anything unless we win your case.
Disclaimer : The information provided is general and not for legal advice. The blogs are not intended to provide legal counsel and no attorney-client relationship is created nor intended.