There are a number of distinctions between auto-to-auto and truck-to-auto collisions, and they start with the crash itself. Tractor-trailer trucks are enormous. An empty semi can weigh up to 40,000 pounds, and the maximum legal weight for a truck is 80,000. In 2004, the EPA determined that the average personal vehicle weighs about 4,000 pounds. The additional weight and mass of a semi needs more time to stop, start and maneuver than a car does. And the laws of physics make it such that almost all accidents involving big rigs occur with force far greater than two cars striking one another could possibly create.
All of this means that a big rig accident is much more likely to result in destruction and the serious injury or death of the drivers of cars involved than other types of auto accidents.
Lawsuits connected with trucking accidents are also different. In a “normal” car accident, each individual involved would file a claim with his or her insurance company. A lawyer would help a victim pursue the claim with the company and litigate against the insurance companies of the at-fault parties if necessary.
Insurance companies are still involved in trucking accidents; a person’s car insurance should cover a collision with a semi and with another car in the same way. However, when a commercial truck is involved in an accident, the companies that own it, operate it and employ its driver also become involved. Expert legal advice becomes all the more crucial when a person is negotiating with a trucking insurance company, transport company, cargo owner, truck owner, truck driver and his or her own insurance company — all at once.
Furthermore, federal and state government regulates commercial truck operation specifically because of the safety risks they pose. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) are intended to protect trucks and the general public while preventing accidents. The regulations are meant to be exhaustive, and trucks involved in accidents were often violating one or more of them, including those pertaining to sleep deprivation, driving time maximums, regular inspections and consistent maintenance. Failures to adhere to these regulations frequently form the basis of a person’s lawsuit directly against a trucking-related company in a personal injury case.
- Am I covered under the Jones Act?
- Can I pursue a wrongful death claim regarding my family member’s death?
- Can I receive compensation for a car accident or truck accident injury?
- Can I receive compensation for an oil rig injury?
- Can I receive compensation if I was injured by a product, such as a ladder or a power tool?
- Can I still receive compensation if I am partially responsible for my own injury?
- Do I have a personal injury case?
- Does Texas law require me to wear a motorcycle helmet?
- How much is my case worth?
- How much will it cost to hire a lawyer?
- How should I choose a lawyer?
- If I am injured while on someone else’s property, can I receive compensation?
- What are compensatory damages?
- What Are Mineral Rights?
- What can I do if someone is spreading false information about my business?
- What if I am not sure who is at fault for my injury?
- What if the person at fault for my accident is deceased?
- What is a “material” breach of contract under Texas law and why is it important?
- What Is a Wrongful Death Claim?
- What is my Houston personal injury case worth?
- What is repudiation of a contract?
- What is the Death on the High Seas Act?
- What is the difference between mediation and arbitration?
- What Is the Jones Act?
- What makes a trucking accident different from other auto accidents?
- What should I do after an accident or injury?
- What should I do if I am having trouble with a business insurance claim?
- What should I do if I feel that my insurance claim was unfairly denied?
- What should I do if I’m involved in a traffic accident?
- Who can file a wrongful death lawsuit in Louisiana?
- Who can file a wrongful death lawsuit in Texas?
- Will I have to testify in court for my personal injury case?
- Will my case have to go to trial?