Former State's Attorney With Over 38 Years of Experience

The Difference Between a Truck Accident and a Car Accident

Automobile accidents vary remarkably, with a significant difference between truck crashes and car accidents. Firstly, the obvious difference between both is their size; trucks are three times the size of regular cars and weigh more than them. An average 18-wheeler weighs up to 75,000 pounds, compared to the weight of a saloon car at roughly 5,000 pounds. And that clearly sets them apart in terms of the damages they cause during accidents.

The damage caused by a truck will be more severe than that of a car. Imagine being hit by a 75,000 pounds vehicle while in your saloon car. The damage will be catastrophic, and you can sustain serious injuries that may be permanent. If you’ve been injured in a truck or car accident, it’s wise to learn of their differences before filing truck accident lawsuits or personal injury claims.

A truck accident lawyer will not only offer deep insights into your compensation options but also help you file a truck accident claim and ensure you receive due compensation.

Let’s explore the main differences between a car accident and a truck accident in detail.

Differences Between Truck and Car Accidents

Truck accidents differ from car accidents in a few ways. They include:

Extent of Damage

One of the main differences between the two is the extent of damage involved in the aftermath of a truck accident, which is remarkably devastating compared to car accidents. A car accident may leave its occupants with minor injuries, and some can come out unscathed by chance.

However, a truck accident is always severe, and the occupants of both vehicles will likely sustain serious injuries, and in worse cases, death, in the aftermath. When it comes to the nature of the vehicles after the accident, smaller cars are usually in worse conditions than trucks that may sustain light dents.

Truck Accidents are More Complex

A truck accident case is more complex than a car crash. The trucking industry is more regulated since it operates under companies with many stakeholders. In the aftermath of a truck crash, many liable parties could be involved.

From the truck driver and the trucking company to the truck’s manufacturer, insurance companies, and the city council, you are looking at a broad range of at-fault parties here. The stakes in a truck accident are higher than in a car accident. You’ll need a qualified and experienced truck accident lawyer to stand up for you, determine who you are up against, and fight for compensation from liable parties.

Evidence is Different

Accidents involving passenger cars require pieces of accident scene evidence like images and videos of the accident and the accounts of eyewitnesses. However, a truck accident requires more complex evidence than a commercial motor vehicle crash. Following a truck accident, typical pieces of evidence include the truck’s black box data, maintenance reports, cargo loading manifests, personal data of the truck driver and hours-of-service logs, and the truck company’s screening records. It could be more, depending on the severity of the case.

The Causes are Different

Truck accidents are rare because trucks are larger and move slower than regular cars. This also accounts for the differences in the causes of their accidents. The usual causes of car accidents include but are not limited to: drinking and driving, texting and driving, overspeeding, and brake failures. For a truck accident, the circumstances vary because trucks are gigantic, difficult to stop or slow down quickly, and difficult to make turns. Truck accidents can also stem from truck driver fatigue, equipment failure, or terrible road conditions.

Truck Accidents Defendants are More Aggressive and Experienced

One key reason you can’t do without truck accident lawyers as a truck accident victim is that the trucking company will roll out its insurance company and seasoned lawyers to defend it against the latter. The job of these insurance companies and their determined legal team is to ensure their client pays only a small amount in settlements rather than the required compensation.

You’ll be up against a vicious team of lawyers from the truck company compared to passenger vehicle accidents, where you could only have the driver, an insurance company, or a personal injury lawyer to deal with. It doesn’t mean car accidents are easier to handle, but compared to truck accidents, it’s a different ballgame. So, you will need a truck accident law firm with experienced truck accident lawyers to stand a chance against these defendants.

Unique Laws of Truck Accidents

To further differentiate a car accident from that of a truck, let’s look at some laws that are peculiar to truck accident cases. They include:

Hours of Service Regulations

This law stipulates that commercial truck drivers are not supposed to drive for more than 11 hours a day, remain on duty for more than 14 hours a day, or get back on the road without resting for at least 10 hours.

Record-Keeping Laws

Truck drivers and trucking companies are mandated to maintain records of driver qualifications, personal data, drug and alcohol tests, hours-of-service compliance (as seen above), and truck maintenance records.

Blood Alcohol Concentration

Truck drivers are expected to maintain lower blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels. The law forbids them from driving with a BAC above 0.04, as opposed to the benchmark of 0.08.

These laws regulate commercial trucks and drivers, and car drivers are excluded from them, making trucking accidents more unique. A trucking accident lawyer can help shed more light on the peculiarities of a commercial truck accident.

Get Help from a Reputable Truck Accident Attorney Now!

If you or a loved one is a victim of any truck accident in Chicago, don’t hit the panic button yet. Instead, contact Michael J. Brennan, one of the best truck accident attorneys in Chicago with 35 years of experience under his belt. As a former state’s attorney before joining the private sector, he’s seen it all when it comes to truck accident cases.

Contact our legal office in Chicago now at 708-726-6901 or use our online contact form for a free case evaluation that sets the tone for your case to receive exceptional and accurate legal representation.

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