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5 ways that truck accident cases differ from car wreck cases

On Behalf of | May 7, 2024 | Truck Accidents

Truck accident cases tend to be particularly complex – partially because they tend to stem from particularly devastating circumstances – as compared to “typical” car accident cases. This observation is not meant to diminish the suffering felt by those who suffer harm due to more conventional crash types. Only to underscore that those harmed in truck accident scenarios statistically face uniquely complex medical harm and legal hurdles in the aftermath of their circumstances. 

The unique characteristics of commercial trucks, including their size, weight and operational demands, mean that accidents involving these vehicles tend to inspire certain challenges and consequences, including the following. 

1. Greater damage and injuries 

Due to their weight and size, trucks can cause significantly more damage than passenger cars in the event of a collision. The force of a truck hitting a smaller vehicle is more likely to lead to severe injuries or fatalities than the force of one passenger vehicle hitting another. 

2. Complex regulatory concerns

Trucking companies and truck drivers are bound to honor a strict set of federal and state regulations, including those governing hours of service, maintenance standards and cargo loading. Determining whether a violation of these regulations contributed to an accident can, for example, impact a victim’s ability to establish liability for their harm.

3. Severe legal and financial consequences 

The legal repercussions of truck accidents can be more consequential than those involving passenger vehicles alone. Due to the likelihood of extensive property damage and serious injuries, the financial stakes in truck accident claims are typically higher, so damage awards tend to be higher accordingly. 

4. Different liability considerations 

In truck accident cases, liability can extend beyond each driver to include the trucking company, manufacturers of trucking components and even third-party logistics providers. This multiplicity of potentially liable parties can complicate legal proceedings, requiring detailed investigations to determine all parties responsible for the accident (and to hold them accountable in the end). 

5. Unique investigation and evidence-gathering needs 

Investigating a truck accident is usually more complex than investigating a car accident. It often requires analyzing trucking logs, maintenance records and black box data, alongside standard evidence such as witness statements and police reports. 

While every accident is devastating in its own way, there is no denying that the legal complexity and potential damage stemming from truck accidents tend to be more intense than those of more traditional car crash scenarios.