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How Are Semi-Truck Accidents Different from a Typical Accident?

When semi-trucks are involved in accidents, the results are often catastrophic, and the legal implications are complex. If you’ve been injured in a truck accident, you likely face a much more difficult battle for fair financial compensation than you would following an accident involving two passenger vehicles. This is why it’s important to hire an experienced truck accident lawyer following an accident. Read on as we explain how truck accidents are different from typical ones. 

Commercial Trucks are Larger and Heavier Than Passenger Vehicles

In a typical car accident, two vehicles, often of similar size, collide. Although these types of accidents can result in catastrophic injuries, the consequences of crashes involving semi-trucks are often worse. Commercial trucks are large and powerful, and they travel at high rates of speed. They can be up to 80 feet long and weigh thousands of pounds more than passenger vehicles; consequently, there’s more weight and force in accidents involving semi-trucks—even at low speeds. The size of semi-trucks makes them capable of inflicting severe damage to cars regardless of how fast they’re going. What would likely be a minor fender bender between two passenger cars can become a serious accident when a large truck is involved. In other words, when a semi-truck collides with a car, truck, or SUV, the smaller vehicle—and its passengers—almost always bear the brunt of the impact. 

The Injuries are Often More Severe 

The size, power, and speed of semi-trucks make them capable of inflicting great damage on smaller vehicles and their passengers. When a person driving a standard passenger vehicle is hit by a semi-truck, he or she is faced with a collision involving several tons more than a wreck involving a car. This extra weight creates more force during an impact, which can result in injuries that are far more severe than those occurring in accidents involving smaller vehicles. If you’ve been injured in a semi-truck accident, you should hire an attorney as soon as possible. Keep in mind that insurance companies are concerned with one thing: their bottom line. Therefore, it’s common for insurance companies to offer injury victims as little money as they’re willing to accept. With an experienced truck accident lawyer on your side, however, you can rest assured that the insurance company won’t get away with offering you an unfair amount. 

More Parties May Be Involved

In wrecks involving two passenger vehicles, the only parties usually affected are the two drivers and their insurance companies. When a semi-truck causes a wreck, however, there are often multiple parties that may be at fault. Depending on the circumstances that led to the accident, an accident with a semi-truck may involve the driver of the truck, the truck manufacturer, the transport company, and even the maintenance provider. Truck accident cases can get very complicated, making legal counsel imperative following an accident involving a semi-truck. 

Trucks Carry Cargo

Normal passenger vehicles usually only carry one thing: passengers. Semi-trucks, however, carry cargo, which can often either cause or exacerbate the effects of truck accidents. There are many ways that cargo can contribute to truck accidents. For example, workers sometimes fail to load cargo properly with the result that it comes loose during transport and strikes other vehicles. Even if it doesn’t make direct impact with other vehicles, it can force them to swerve and run off the road or collide with another driver. In addition, semi-trucks often carry dangerous cargo such as flammable chemicals, which can ignite and severely injure everyone involved. Following these kinds of accidents, the drivers and passengers of other vehicles may be entitled to financial compensation for their injuries. 

Commercial Truckers Don’t Always Adhere to Federal Laws and Regulations

In the commercial trucking industry, there are several laws and regulations in place to help keep everyone safe on our roads and highways. These include:

  • Truck repair and maintenance guidelines
  • Hours of service regulations that governs the hours a driver can operate a commercial motor vehicle
  • Weight limit regulations that a commercial truck can carry
  • A commercial truck driver can face a DUI with a blood alcohol limit of just .04

However, it’s not uncommon for these regulations to be bypassed or logs to be falsified to increase the trucking company’s bottom line. Truckers are often put under pressure to deliver their payload faster so the trucking company can turn a profit faster and more often. These unsafe practices create hazardous road conditions, and when an accident occurs, it can be difficult to hold trucking companies accountable without the experience of a personal injury attorney that specializes in truck accidents.

Fighting for What You Are Owed

Given the extensive damage that can result from accidents with semi-truck, insurance companies are often reluctant to give truck accident victims the financial compensation they deserve. Additionally, trucking companies have the resources to hire their own team of attorneys to protect their bottom line. This means that truck accident victims are usually offered lowball settlement amounts, leaving these victims to fight for what they are owed. When you hire an experienced semi-truck accident attorney, your odds of obtaining the compensation you deserve increase substantially. An experienced truck accident attorney has the knowledge and skill to take on big insurance and trucking companies—and will fight for nothing less than a fair settlement. 

Contact Our Truck Accident Attorneys Today

If you’ve been injured in an accident involving a semi-truck, you need an experienced truck accident lawyer in your corner. At Harrell & Harrell, P.A., our sole focus is personal injury law. For over 40 years, we’ve helped the victims of semi-truck accidents obtain financial compensation for their injuries. Our knowledgeable and experienced attorneys understand the physical and financial difficulties faced by accident victims. Therefore, when you come to us for help following your accident, we’ll do everything we can to ensure that you are fully compensated for your injuries. Please contact us today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our experienced semi-truck accident attorneys.