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What Makes A Commercial Truck Accident Different?

There are millions of reported auto accidents every year and added together they cause millions of injuries, hundreds of thousands of hospital stays, and kill tens of thousands of unfortunate Americans annually.

But not every car crash is the same. Some are just minor dents picked up in parking lots, while others are highway crashes where the high speeds result in some major damage. Others involve some seriously heavy vehicles like commercial trucks, vans, and semis. If a normal car collides with the side of a semi, the car will always come out in worse shape. Commercial truck accidents have some very real differences from ordinary auto accidents, and those differences are worth considering.

The Damage

The effects of a truck accident are a simple matter of physics. “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction,” which means the effects of a collision hit both vehicles equally. But commercial trucks have a lot more mass, and the impact spreads throughout the whole body. A sedan, on the other hand, has to take all the force the giant truck brought with it into a much smaller area.

Because of physics, a big truck will often be in decent shape after a collision while the car it hit will be lucky if it can drive to the nearest service garage. The passengers will need to be lucky, too, because if the truck is going fast enough it can overwhelm the safety features on many otherwise safe vehicle models. Auto engineers and safety organizations test their features assuming a collision with another car or an SUV or light truck at most, and a commercial truck does a lot more damage than that.

Corporate Insurance Policies

Commercial truck drivers need to live up to a higher set of standards since they spend most of their working days on the road at the wheel of massive vehicles that are tricky to maneuver. The same is true about the insurance policies that pay out after an accident: since trucks can cause so much more damage than passenger cars, both to property and to people, the policies are for much larger amounts. They also have to cover the expensive cargo since that can become unrecoverable if the back of the truck or trailer breaks or tips over.

A commercial truck policy can cover more damage, but it can sometimes be trickier to get fair compensation from the policy’s insurance provider. Insurance companies are for-profit companies, after all, and paying out claims is the single biggest drain on their profits. The stakes are higher on a corporate policy, and so the adjusters who handle claims on commercial truck policies tend to look harder for reasons not to pay out the full claim. If that seems to be the case, it can pay to hire a lawyer to represent you and the full claim amount you deserve.

Extra Regulations

Commercial drivers are held to higher standards, and one big example of that is the long list of state and federal regulations they have to follow when they’re on the road. A commercial driver’s license is just the first step: carrying different cargos, driving on certain streets, and driving bigger vehicles all require extra training and rules. Even the insurance companies play a role in this since they want low-risk drivers who won’t get into accidents.

All this means that truck accidents are less likely to happen than they would be otherwise, but they can also play a part in the claim adjustments and legal fights that follow a serious accident. If the driver was neglecting important regulations and that played a role in the collision, it means more of the fault will fall on the driver, the company that employs the driver, and the insurance carrier that covers their accidents. Proving this negligence can result in a bigger settlement, but you’d need an experienced truck accident lawyer who could spot the problem.

All these factors set truck accidents apart from other auto collisions, and the special nature of regulations and corporate insurance policies make it important to find a lawyer with truck accident experience. And if the accident happens near Port Charlotte or in the southwest Florida area, the firm to call is the All Injuries Law Firm.