Last year, Americans drove nearly three trillion miles. With that amount of travel and the number of vehicles on the road, accidents are bound to happen. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2009 there were over 13 million car accidents and 500,000 commercial truck accidents. Many of those accidents result in serious injury or death to one or more of the drivers or passengers involved.
While car accidents and truck accidents are similar in many ways, accidents involving commercial trucks differ from car accidents in three important ways.
The Difference Between Truck Accidents & Car Accidents
The three primary differences relate to the following categories:
- Financial Liability
- Driver Responsibility
- Personal Injury
In a car accident, only the drivers involved in the accident can be held financially liable. All states require motorists to carry a minimum level of insurance to cover any damages to another driver’s car if they cause an accident.
In a truck accident, determining liability is much more complex. Not only can the truck driver be held liable, but the trucking company can be to. The commercial trucking industry is regulated by the federal government and is required to ensure that the trucks meet federal safety standards.
After a truck accident, many different documents must be reviewed to ensure that the trucking company and truck driver were compliant with federal regulations. For example, if it is discovered that the trucking company failed to perform scheduled maintenance on the truck’s brakes, the trucking company can share in liability for the accident.
While all motorists must follow traffic laws, truck drivers are held to higher standard. For example, federal regulations restrict the number of hours a truck driver can be on the road over a given period of time. Additionally, truck drivers are required to have additional training in order to obtain a commercial driver’s license.
Any time that two or more cars are involved in an accident there is the potential for injury. However, due to the sheer size of commercial trucks, truck accidents generally have a much higher rate of serious personal injury and fatality than car accidents.
Why Hire a Truck Accident Attorney?
If you have been involved in an accident with a commercial truck, it is important that you hire an attorney that specializes in commercial truck accidents. Many attorneys are more than qualified to handle a run-of-the-mill car accident case, but do not have the expertise and knowledge of trucking regulations to properly handle a truck accident case. Arnold & Itkin has the knowledge and experience to represent victims of even the most complex truck accident cases.
Contact our truck accident attorneys today to learn how we can help you.