Truck accidents and car accidents are undeniably both catastrophic to every party involved. These can result in debilitating injuries and monetary damages. You may have to take your vehicle for repairs, pay for medical treatment, and take unpaid leave for a few weeks, among many things.
However, while they are similar, there are certain key differences between the two that can affect how one must approach these incidents. Read on as this article tackles those differences.
When you get into an accident with a driver, you’ll most likely go against their insurance provider in a settlement claim. The provider typically offers legal representation, also known as a lawyer, to the insured driver. However, there are cases where they don’t, and it can happen when the driver doesn’t provide notice of the crash. That’s the best-case scenario for you, the injured party. But, that’s not something you can hope for when you get into a truck accident.
Usually, you’ll go against not only the truck’s driver, but also the trucking company they’re working for. In short, you’re up against the whole company and their team of lawyers.
In this scenario, it’s advisable to at least seek free consultation from a law firm and, perhaps, get yourself a lawyer as well. You’ll most likely need professional help if you want to win a settlement claim from a truck accident. There’s also the issue with how fault is decided in truck accidents.
What’s, perhaps, the most apparent difference between the two is the severity. Truck accidents are generally more severe and brutal than car accidents, the reason being trucks are much heavier than cars in general. For your reference, a truck can legally have a maximum weight of 80,000 pounds in the United States, while a car has a measly average weight of 5,000 pounds. Therefore, they can cause a heavier impact in a car accident as opposed to small passenger cars.
While one may argue that speed is also a factor, one must keep in mind that trucks usually have a strict deadline. So, unfortunately, speed isn’t one aspect trucks will lack.
Regardless, the higher level of severity that truck accidents cause can lead to higher levels of damage. Rather than taking your car for repairs, you may end up replacing it as it might be completely totaled. Instead of a broken arm, you might end up with several fractures. In a way, truck accidents are more costly to the injured party.
The causes of car accidents are also different from the usual causes of truck accidents. Car accidents typically occur because of a mistake on the driver’s part. There are also unforeseen variables, like harsh weather or darkness, but those won’t be an issue if the driver is cautious. On the one hand, truck accidents occur mainly because of their sheer size and difficulty to maneuver. No matter how careful the driver is, they can’t stop or turn as quickly as a car does it.
Moreover, equipment failure and defects may also play a huge role in the accident. This factor is still somewhat the driver’s and company’s fault as they must perform regular checkups on the truck. Needless to say, the fault of a truck accident is much harder to pin on the driver than in a car accident. This may affect your chances of receiving the rightful amount of compensation from your claim. In the worst-case scenario, you may not even receive a settlement from them.
4. Number Of Parties Involved
Car accidents usually only involve two parties—the at-fault party and the injured party. One tries to get compensation, while the other tries to prevent that from happening, or at least minimize the settlement amount they have to pay. A truck accident, however, is a different matter.
Due to the sheer size of trucks, any accident they may cause can lead to property damage around the scene. If so, not only will you be the one putting charges on the company; other people may do the same. Granted, truck accidents usually occur on empty highways, but they can also happen in urban or populated areas.
Again, a personal injury lawyer can provide assistance when your settlement claim becomes too complex for you alone to handle.
Truck accidents are generally much harder to handle, but car accidents are no joke either. They require a ton of time and effort if you want to recover from the damages and ultimately claim compensation from the at-fault party. And, while the complexity and difficulty of these two cases differ, you’ll always have an easier time with a lawyer by your side.