Millions of automobile crashes occur each year in the United States, with 350,000 occurring in Florida. More than 1.7 million car accidents occur in the U.S. every year, and roughly 112,000 trucks are involved in injury-causing crashes each year. Car crashes are very different from crashes involving large trucks. When it comes to how the vehicle operates on the road, a passenger car can hardly be compared with a semi-truck, 18-wheeler, tanker truck, or tractor-trailer. In addition, car crash cases and truck crash cases differ in the way they are handled legally.
If you have been injured in a car or truck crash, it is essential to hire a Florida personal injury law firm that has the knowledge and experience to litigate your case. We listen to you, help identify the parties who are liable for causing your injuries, and help you plan a strategy to maximize your compensation.
Car crashes and truck crashes can both be devastating, but there are several key differences between the two. Here are four primary differences between a car crash and a truck crash:
Car accidents may cause severe injuries, but severe injuries are almost guaranteed during truck accidents. The severity of a truck crash is due to the difference in size and weight of trucks compared to other cars.
Tractor-trailers can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, while most passenger vehicles weigh below 4,000 pounds. Due to this difference in the weight, a truck will collide with far more force than even the most massive passenger vehicle can withstand.
All 18-wheelers have substantial blind spots, which can prevent the driver from seeing nearby vehicles. Entire cars can fit inside a truck’s blind spot, putting the cars at risk when they make a lane change or a turn.
Truck drivers traveling at high speeds cannot respond in time to accidents, even if they see an upcoming hazard. A truck’s size and weight requires 20 to 40% more stopping distance. As a result, a collision with a truck often means that the truck was traveling too fast or did not give enough stopping distance between itself and the next motor vehicle.
Higher weight, blind spots, and higher speed can lead to catastrophic levels of injury in a crash. A catastrophic injury will change the rest of a person’s life. These injuries require extensive treatment and have permanent repercussions for victims. If you were injured in a truck crash, contact an experienced accident lawyer at Fighter Law.
All passenger vehicles are required to follow state and local traffic ordinances; however, in addition to state and local traffic ordinances, truck drivers must obey unique state and federal regulations. There are rules governing aspects, such as the number of hours they can drive, the type of training they receive, how the trucks are maintained, and how much they can haul.
If truck drivers or companies violate these regulations, they could be held responsible for your accident. Experienced truck crash lawyers can dig into trucking company records and obtain information about their training, employment history, and accident history.
How investigations and the collection of evidence are handled in a car crash versus a truck crash are significantly different. After a car crash, injury attorneys and investigators collect evidence, review witness statements, look at photos of the vehicles, view security videos, and read the police statements.
When it comes to truck accidents, the evidence to collect differs from that of a car crash. Investigators and attorneys will check the truck driver’s qualifications and training. They should also review drug and alcohol screenings and the documents containing the driver’s hours of service. Evidence regarding the truck and cargo load will also need to be reviewed, such as dispatch instructions, cargo weight, bills of lading, etc. Most trucks have onboard technology that allows downloads of maintenance and inspection records.
Truck drivers and trucking companies must keep records for a short time. An attorney unfamiliar with the time restraint might miss the opportunity to inspect those records. The quicker you speak with the attorneys at Fighter Law, the sooner they can begin an investigation to collect critical evidence.
Determining liability can be more difficult in a truck crash case. In a typical car crash, the parties involved are you, the other driver, and your insurance companies. When a truck is involved, many parties may be liable to pay damages. Such parties include:
Too often, inexperienced attorneys do not consider additional parties. At Fighter Law, we evaluate all parties that could be held accountable for damages and injuries. Our goal is to ensure that you receive the maximum compensation you deserve.
Insurance considerations in a truck accident are very different from a standard car accident. In Florida, your car or vehicle is covered by PIP, which you purchase. Florida is a no-fault state, meaning each person purchases insurance for their own benefit. Florida law requires each person with a registered vehicle to carry PIP coverage that pays a minimum of $10,000 to cover injuries and damages for any person hurt in a vehicle crash.
Truck insurance coverage depends on whether the truck is owned by the operator or leased to the driver by the carrier. For the former, policies can run between $3,000-$5,000 per year. For the latter, the average insurance policy costs $9,000-$12,000 every year. Trucks carry high liability coverage. Commercial insurance carriers work very quickly to estimate damages and assign experienced investigators and adjusters to crash cases so they can avoid liability.
In severe vehicular crashes, you can bring a claim for damages against the other driver. When a person files a case outside of the no-fault laws, they typically seek help from a qualified personal injury lawyer. Victims can ask for additional damages, such as pain and suffering.
Fighter Law personal injury trial lawyers understand the difference between a truck and a car crash. We are experienced in studying the evidence, and we are knowledgeable of state and federal trucking laws. This increases our likelihood of obtaining the maximum compensation for a truck crash victim. We have been winning successful verdicts and settlements against negligent parties for over a decade.
Thomas Feiter was named a Board-Certified Florida Lawyer of the year. We are upfront, honest, and always keep a high level of communication with our clients. We listen carefully to your needs and fight to obtain the best outcome for your case. Contact us online or call us at (407) 344-4837 today to schedule a free consultation.
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