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3 Ways Big Rig Truck Accidents are Totally Different Than Car Accidents

Three Ways Big Rig Truck Accidents are Considerably Different Than Car Accidents 

by Marcos Garcia, Attorney, Rubenstein Law Trucking Accident Team

Truck accidents are not car accidents. They are different in almost every way. Trucks are 10 times as large and heavy as cars. Many semi-trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. Most cars, by comparison, weigh about 4,000 pounds. The energy involved when a truck hits a car is therefore 10 times as great due to the increased mass of the truck to the car. This means that even a collision at a low speed can yield greater damage than if it were simply a car and not a truck.

Aside from the obvious differences in size and weight, truck accidents involve laws at the state and federal level which car accidents do not. Truck drivers and the loads they carry are often governed by a complicated set of federal regulations with which they must comply. These drivers, their trucks, and their loads are also subject to the laws of the state in which they are transporting their load. All of this makes for a very complex environment for an attorney to navigate and pursue a claim on behalf of their client. Not every personal injury attorney is familiar with these laws, this can make mistakes which are costly for the client.

In addition to the law and physics of a truck accident, there is different technology involved as well. Most trucks these days have a “black box” inside of them that records data. This data can include the speed of the truck, the duration the truck has been on, whether brakes were applied, and a lot of other relevant information to a potential truck accident. It is extremely important that an attorney secures this box and its data early in the accident investigation. A failure to secure this can result in the data being lost. Insurance companies and trucking companies will often fail to secure this on purpose so the data is overwritten. An experienced trucking attorneywill have the right experts (accident reconstructionists, engineers, etc) go to the scene and to the truck to secure this critical information before it is too late.

It's not surprising that many attorneys love truck accident cases because the awards to the plaintiffs are often higher than car accidents. There are several reasons for this:

  1. Most trucking companies carry a lot of insurance because of the potential for large loss, and because the government requires them to carry a minimum depending on their load and range
  2. Many trucking companies are not in compliance with the complex set of laws and regulations involved in the trucking industry and therefore settle at a premium
  3. Truck drivers often do not make great plaintiffs

Because of these reasons, personal injury attorneys will be very happy to take on every trucking case they can get. Do not make the mistake of hiring a lawyer who is not expert in the nuances of trucking accidents and the laws protecting you.