Lawsuits involving large trucks are considerably more complex than those involving passenger cars. Trucks are larger and heavier, making them more likely to cause catastrophic injury accidents. Truck accidents also typically involve multiple parties, complicating the insurance claims process.
Discover what makes truck accident lawsuits different from car accident claims and why hiring an experienced Utah trucking accident lawyer from Great West Injury Law can help you gain fair compensation.
Truck Accidents Tend to Be More Severe Than Car Accidents
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Regulations categorize trucks weighing 10,000 pounds and above as commercial vehicles. Compact passenger cars weigh between 2,000 and 3,000 pounds on average. This significant weight difference between the two means that commercial trucks are more likely to cause severe injuries in an accident due to their heavier weight.
Other factors that play into the severity of truck accidents include:
- Taller Height
Commercial trucks in Utah can measure up to 14 feet tall, giving them a higher center of mass. As a result, they can create large wind gusts that can push other passenger vehicles into other lanes. Having a taller height also means passenger cars may become trapped underneath trucks.
- Longer Stopping Distance
Trucks need at least two football field lengths of stopping distance, whereas passenger cars only need around three to four car lengths. If a truck driver is speeding and doesn’t slow down at turns, they risk rolling over and crashing with another vehicle. Rollovers made up 4% of fatal and 2% of all non-fatal truck collisions in 2019.
Commercial truck accidents can leave you with devastating injuries like spinal cord injuries, TBIs, or disfigurement. These injuries often require long-term medical care and rehabilitation. A Great West Injury Law truck accident lawyer can help you seek maximum compensation to cover your medical bills and accident-related expenses.
Truck Drivers Have More Federal Laws to Obey
Unlike passenger car drivers, truck drivers must follow strict federal laws to ensure their safety and others on the road. Drivers must obey the FMCSA’s hours-of-service regulations and have time to rest and take breaks during these hours. Truck drivers and their employers are also subject to the following rules:
- Record Maintenance
Truck companies must keep regular records of their trucks and drivers. For instance, they must keep records of the drivers’ substance abuse treatment history. They must also have records of the trucks’ inspection and maintenance.
- Driver Record Keeping
Truck drivers have to log in their hours of driving time and when they are on break. Electronic logging devices (ELDs) can record their logs automatically. Trucking companies must keep a backup of the drivers’ logs for at least six months on devices other than ELDs.
If you’re involved in an accident with a commercial truck, your lawyer can use these records from the drivers and their companies when filing your truck accident claim. In addition, the documents can reveal the past behavior and performance of the truck drivers to prove negligence and win you a fair settlement.
The FMCSA Requires Higher Insurance Policy Limits for Trucks
Truck companies and their drivers often carry insurance policies with higher policy limits. The minimum truck liability insurance policy limits for large trucks range from $750,000 to $5 million. Trucks must also have an MCS-90 (Motor Carrier Safety-90) endorsement. It ensures that if the truck driver causes an accident, their insurance company will cover any damages to the victim.
More Money Is at Stake for Insurers
The FMCSA estimates that an average large truck collision with injuries costs $200,000. A fatal collision involving a truck can reach up to $3.6 million. Insurance companies may delay or deny your claim due to the high cost of truck insurance. They may also try to offer a lowball settlement. Working with a lawyer from Great West Injury Law can help you negotiate for the compensation you deserve in your claim.
Multiple Parties May Be Responsible for the Accident
Compensation for a truck accident involves filing claims against multiple parties who own, oversee, and maintain the truck. Aside from the truck drivers, liable parties may include:
- The truck owner if a truck driver doesn’t own the truck.
- The employer of the truck driver.
- The cargo loading company.
- The fleet maintenance company.
- The manufacturer who built and installed the truck components.
Your lawyer can determine who is at fault for the accident and seek compensation from multiple parties if necessary. They can gather evidence such as the maintenance records and insurance information to prove you require the compensation you deserve.
Work With a Lawyer Experienced in Handling Truck Accident Cases
Contact Great West Injury Law immediately to protect your rights if you sustained injuries in a truck accident. We understand the importance of results and have the skills and resources to fight the insurance companies on your behalf.
Schedule a free consultation with our law firm so our experienced and knowledgeable legal team can review your case and help you get a fair settlement.