Although the number of car accidents far exceeds the number of truck accidents, the latter undoubtedly cause more serious damage. This is due to the fact that trucks weigh 20 to 30 times more than the average car. Here are 5 major differences between car and truck accidents that may affect your personal injury claim.
1. Commercial Vehicles Are Subject to Additional Federal Laws
Since they often travel between states, large commercial vehicles must adhere to not only state and local regulations, but also federal laws. These federal laws are generally in place to regulate the amount of driving allowed within a specific period of time, as well as how much cargo they can hold. Additionally, truck companies and their drivers are required to register with both the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the Department of Transportation (DOT).
2. Since Trucks Cause More Damage, They Also Carry More Insurance
Auto insurance is determined by state requirements, as well as specifics about the driver and the vehicle. Insurance policies for commercial semi-trucks tend to have higher minimum liability coverage limits than passenger vehicle policies, meaning that injury victims may be able to recover greater compensation. The required insurance coverage for a truck can also vary based on a number of factors, including:
The age of the driver
The CDL history of the driver
The credit history of the driver
The distance the driver drives
The type of cargo being hauled
The worth of the truck
Whether the driver owns or leases the truck
3. Different Evidence is Required After Accidents
After any accident, it is always important to collect as much evidence as you can. This often includes things such as photos and videos of the scene, the vehicles, and the injuries, as well as police reports, witness statements, and more. But when you have been involved in a truck accident, it is also important to collect evidence pertaining to the truck, the cargo it is carrying, and the truck driver. The FMCSA requires truck drivers to maintain records for six months, so the sooner that evidence is collected, the better chance you may have of successfully pursuing compensation.
4. Truck Liability is Often More Complex
When a car accident occurs, it often involves the driver of the vehicle and their insurance company. But when it comes to truck accidents, there are more parties that may be held liable for the accident. The trucking company that employs the driver may also be held liable, as may the owner of the truck and the trailer. Additionally, truck drivers are not always the ones loading or unloading the trailer of the truck. This means that if the accident involved any type of issue with the cargo, liable parties may also include brokers, forwarders, shippers, and warehouse workers.
5. Compensation is Usually More Significant
Since truck accidents generally cause more damage than passenger car accidents do, injuries are often more serious and medical bills are understandably higher. This commonly increases the amount of compensation awarded to the victim.
Contact a Kane County Personal Injury Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact the experienced Aurora, IL truck accident attorneys at Kinnally Flaherty Krentz Loran Hodge & Masur P.C. We can help you fight for what you deserve. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, call 630-907-0909 today.