How are truck accidents different from car accidents?

Truck and car accidents can be serious, but they are not the same regarding the legal process. The differences can be significant, affecting everything from how investigations are conducted to how liability is determined. Understanding these distinctions is crucial if you’ve been involved in a truck accident.

Smith Jordan Law is experienced in navigating the unique challenges of truck accident cases in South Carolina, and we’re here to ensure you get the guidance and support you need. Contact our skilled Greenville truck accident lawyers if you or a loved one have been hurt in a big rig collision.

how are truck accidents different from car accidents

Size and weight differences

The most obvious difference between truck accidents and car accidents is the size and weight of the vehicles involved. Trucks, especially commercial ones, are much larger and heavier than passenger cars. And that can be extremely dangerous.

Greater impact force

Trucks’ sheer size and weight mean collisions typically result in more severe damage and injuries. The force of impact in a truck accident is significantly higher, which can lead to catastrophic outcomes.

Increased risk of fatalities

Due to their size, truck accidents have a higher risk of fatalities than car accidents. The legal speed limits and other truck regulations are stricter to mitigate this risk.

Regulatory differences

Trucks, particularly commercial trucks, are subject to different regulations than passenger cars. These regulations impact how accidents are investigated and litigated.

Federal and state regulations

Trucking companies and drivers must comply with federal regulations from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and state-specific laws. These regulations cover service hours, maintenance, and driver qualifications.

Logbooks and records

Truck drivers must keep detailed logbooks and records of their driving hours and vehicle maintenance. These documents can be crucial in determining liability in a truck accident case. For more details on record-keeping requirements, refer to the South Carolina Code of Laws Section 56-5-4160.

Liability issues

Determining liability in truck accidents is often more complex than in car accidents. There are several reasons for this.

Multiple parties involved

Multiple parties could be held liable in a truck accident, including the truck driver, the trucking company, the vehicle manufacturer, and even the cargo loaders. Each party’s role needs to be thoroughly investigated.

Vicarious liability

Under the legal doctrine of respondeat superior, trucking companies can be held vicariously liable for the actions of their drivers. This means that the employer may be responsible if a truck driver causes an accident while performing job-related duties.

Insurance and compensation

Insurance claims and compensation processes differ significantly between truck and car accidents.

Higher insurance policies

Trucks generally carry higher insurance policy limits due to the potential for severe damage and injuries. This can lead to larger compensation amounts and more vigorous defense strategies from insurance companies.

Complex claims process

The claims process in truck accidents is often more complicated due to the involvement of multiple insurance companies and higher stakes. Legal representation from Smith Jordan Law can help navigate these complexities effectively.

Evidence and investigation

The investigation process for truck accidents is more detailed and requires specialized knowledge.

Accident reconstruction

Due to the severity and complexity of truck accidents, accident reconstruction experts are often employed to determine the cause and contributing factors of the accident.

Black box data

Many commercial trucks have electronic logging devices (ELDs) or black boxes that record crucial data about the truck’s operation. This data can provide critical evidence in establishing fault and negligence.

Legal representation

Given the complexities involved, legal representation is even more crucial in truck accident cases. Here’s why.

Experience with trucking laws

Attorneys experienced in truck accident cases, like those at Smith Jordan Law, understand these cases’ specific regulations and intricacies. They can effectively gather evidence, negotiate with insurance companies, and advocate for the maximum compensation.

Comprehensive legal strategy

A well-rounded legal strategy involves understanding the immediate and long-term impacts of the accident on the victims. Smith Jordan Law ensures that all aspects, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering, are considered.

Hurt in a truck crash? Don’t go it alone – Work with Smith Jordan Law

Understanding how truck accidents differ from car accidents is crucial for anyone involved in such an incident. The size and weight of trucks, regulatory differences, complex liability issues, and detailed evidence requirements all contribute to the unique challenges of truck accident cases.

At Smith Jordan Law, we are dedicated to helping you navigate these complexities and securing the compensation you deserve. If you need legal assistance, contact us for guidance and support—call (864) 343-2222 now.

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