Truck vs Car Accidents
Posted on February 27, 2023
How are Truck and Car Accidents Different?
Truck accidents are not only far more dangerous and can cause more long-term injuries than any other type of accident radically changing a person's life overnight, but they are also far more complex from a legal perspective than other types of car accidents.
Damages are Generally More Severe
Commercial trucks can weigh up to 30 times more than a car, which means that they can potentially cause greater damage during a collision, both to property and people. The injuries suffered by the occupants of a car during an accident with a truck are typically far more severe than those suffered by victims of accidents involving cars only. These injuries can affect them for years or even a lifetime. Sadly, some of them can also result in death. According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, the Sunshine State ranks third in fatal truck accidents in the U.S. Calculating compensation in a truck accident can be a nightmare without the advice of an experienced team of trucking accident lawyers in Orlando.
Minimum Insurance Coverage is Higher
The minimum coverage required by the State of Florida for truckers depends on the type of cargo they are transporting.
- Household goods: $300,000 minimum liability insurance policy.
- General freight: $750,000 minimum liability insurance policy.
- Oil transport: $1,000,000 minimum liability insurance policy.
- Hazardous materials: $5,000,000 minimum liability insurance policy.
This insurance covers vehicle repairs and replacement, property damage, bodily injury, lost earning capacity, medical expenses, or death. Coverage may increase further if the loads are to be transported between states, as truckers must comply with federal liability limits, which range from $750.000 to $1.000.000.
Common Causes of Truck accidents
Although distracted driving remains one of the leading causes of traffic accidents in Florida, truck drivers face unique challenges when on the road due to the sheer size and weight of their vehicles, as well as the nature of their work. These are some of the main causes of truck accidents.
- Speeding: A fully loaded trailer truck needs at least 525 feet to stop if driving at 65 mph, under ideal conditions. This means drivers must be more attentive to the road and have less time to react.
- Poor maintenance: Trucks are complicated vehicles and require much more care than a passenger car. An error or omission during a routine inspection can be catastrophic.
- Drivers Fatigue: Truckers are usually paid based on the miles they drive. As a result, it is not uncommon to find them pushing their limits to drive long hours without proper rest, which can result on extreme fatigue.
- Inadequate hiring or training practices: To be a truck driver it is necessary to have a special license and adequate training for the type of vehicle to be operated. Trucking companies are required to ensure that their employees are properly trained.
- Faulty parts: As with any complex machine, manufacturing defects can be dangerous. In the case of a truck, they can create all sorts of problems, such as an inability to brake, make sharp turns or even drop the trailer midway.
Potentially Liable Parties
While car accidents are usually caused by the negligence of one driver, commercial truck accidents involve more parties. Depending on the cause of the accident, the mechanic and maintenance personnel, loading personnel, the truck manufacturer, the truck driver, and even the trucking company could be at fault. The number of parties involved makes it complex to determine from whom you should claim compensation.
More Evidence Needs to be Analyzed in a Truck Accident
To determine who is at fault in a trucking accident, it is necessary to carefully analyze mountains of information, such as cargo manifests, maintenance reports, black box data, hiring records, schedules, and more to determine the exact cause of the accident. Some of these records can be manipulated, or even destroyed, by the trucking company if the case is not handled right after the accident.
What Damages Can I Claim?
The damages you can collect after a truck accident are the same as those for a car accident. They can include such things as medical expenses, pain and suffering, disability, loss of wages, property damage, and more.
Did you Suffer Injuries in a Truck Accident and are Seeking Compensation?
Trucking companies have frequently their own legal team that is ready to jump in and handle the accident promptly seeking to minimize the damage to the company. For this reason, and due to the complexity of truck accidents cases, it is highly advisable that you seek the advice of a knowledgeable truck accident attorney to represent you, instead of facing the trucking company by yourself. Our team of personal injury attorneys has helped many victims of truck accidents obtain fair compensation and would be honored to help you obtain the compensation you deserve. Jason Recksiedler is certified as expert in Civil Trial Law by the Florida Bar and has helped many clients injured in truck accidents in the past. Call us today at 321-999-1111, we are available 24 hours a day. You can also fill out the online form at the top of this page and we will contact you shortly.