How Truck Accident Cases Differ From Car Accidents

Personal Injury Lawyer Phoenix, AZ

Truck accidents are different from an accident involving two cars. When talking about truck accidents, most are referring to large semi-trucks, 18-wheelers, and other large commercial vehicles.  When it comes to truck accidents, even the smallest collision can be deadly. As a result, personal injury and wrongful death lawyers approach truck accidents differently than car accidents.

Causes of Truck Accidents

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) found that 87% of large truck accident critical reason accidents are caused by driver error. Truck drivers, and the companies that employ them, have a responsibility to ensure their trucks are operated in a safe manner. Common types of semi-truck negligence include:

  • Drug or alcohol use
  • Fatigue
  • Excessive driving time
  • Excessive speed
  • Distracted driving
  • Failure to maintain the truck
  • Failure to inspect the truck
  • Defective design/manufacturing

Complexity & Costs of Making a Claim

If you’ve ever stood next to a semi-truck, you know just how big they are. Standing 13 feet high with an average weight of 80,000 lbs., the common sedan doesn’t stand a chance in a truck-auto accident. As a result, most collisions with semi-trucks result in fatalities.

Wrongful Death Claims

If a death occurs due to negligence on behalf of the truck driver or their employer, a wrongful death claim can be pursued.   A wrongful death claim is a type of personal injury claim that is brought forth by the surviving family members of the victim. Wrongful death claims are known to be more complex and costly than personal injury claims.

Multiple Parties Involved

Unlike regular car accident cases, truck accidents may involve more than two parties. Parties to a truck accident may include:

  • The driver
  • The trucking company
  • Manufacturing companies (that make truck parts)
  • Design companies (that design truck parts)

State & Federal Regulations

Unlike the common car driver, truck drivers are subject to both state and federal regulations. In approaching a truck accident claim, lawyers should be aware of these regulations and how they may affect the outcome of a case. Common regulations include:

  • Licensing Requirements: CMV drivers require a special license.
  • Hours of Service: There are limits on how long a driver can drive and rules on long they must rest.
  • Electronic Logging Devices: These devices synchronize with a CMV’s engine to record driving time.
  • Special Training & Physical Requirements: In addition to the special license training, commercial drivers must undergo physical exams every two years.
  • Driver Drug & Alcohol Testing: The regulations for drug & alcohol use are stricter than those for non-CMV drivers
  • Securing Cargo: Specific rules regulate how to load and secure cargo to prevent it from becoming unhinged or falling off a CMV.

If you or a loved one have been injured by a large truck, hire an attorney. You might be entitled to carry out legal action against the driver or truck company. Contact the law offices of Kamper & Estrada, PLLC for a free one-hour initial consultation with our experienced personal injury attorneys.


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