How Are Commercial Truck Accidents Different From Car Accidents?

A car has shattered windshield and debris is in the road after collision with a semi truck on the highway

Any accident on the road can be a scary and life-changing experience. However, accidents involving trucks are especially dangerous and difficult for a variety of reasons. Trucking accidents are often much more violent, are caused by different conditions, and are handled differently in court due to federal regulations. Those operating the trucks can be negligent in different ways than a passenger driver, and no one knows this better than the trucking accident attorneys at Christie Farrell Lee & Bell. Let’s take a look at three big differences between a car accident and a trucking accident in Indiana.

Trucking Accidents Cause Greater Damages

Obviously, every accident is unique. However, across the board, trucking accidents have the ability to cause a much greater level of damage than those involving regular-sized automobiles. In early 2020, a truck driver on I-65 looked away to put down his coffee cup. He did not see the backed up traffic in front of him and crashed into the stopped line of cars, killing three people, and injuring 14. This driver’s negligence may have been the same as in other accidents, but the impact was far more deadly and damaging due to the size of the truck.

Trucks are much heavier than cars, and the impact of a 3,700 pound sedan versus an 80,000 pound semi-truck barrelling into another vehicle can be far more severe. In 2018, 4136 people died as the result of large truck crashes, a 31 percent increase from the lowest count of deaths in 2009. Even beyond the damage to other vehicles, the injuries received from trucking accidents can be much more severe. Though any injury is possible during any accident, some common forms of trucking accident injuries are:

  • Spinal Cord Injuries
  • Traumatic Brain Injuries
  • Severe Burns
  • Broken Bones
  • Amputations

Trucking Accidents Have Different Causes

Operating a semi or other large truck is different than driving a car. Although many accidents  are due to negligence on one party’s side, the fact is that the reasons for trucking accidents are often unique. Some of these may include:

  • Distracted or fatigued driver due to long hours on the road
  • Improper cargo loading
  • Difficulty breaking in close situations
  • Speeding in order to make a delivery on time
  • Improper training or certification of the operator

Though some smaller commercial trucks like a box truck or a heavy-duty pickup can be driven by anyone with a valid driver’s license, trucks carrying a gross weight of over 26,000 pounds need to be operated by someone with a CDL license. If these trucks are being operated by someone without the proper qualifications, an Indiana trucking accident attorney can use this to establish negligence in the event of an accident.

Indiana Trucking Accident Cases Have Different Regulations 

Accidents involving commercial trucking are handled differently by trucking accident attorneys because of the laws and regulations surrounding them. Establishing liability in a trucking case starts with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulation Act (FMCSA), which sets specific rules for routine background checks, a strict regulation for hours driven in a single day, company evaluations of existing drivers,and drug and alcohol testing. If any of these are broken, a trucking accident attorney can use this to establish negligence. Additionally, these trucks are covered by different types of insurance policies. The bottom line is that handling trucking accidents are more complex than a fender bender involving an individual driving their own car.

Trucking accidents are complex and unique, and in order to properly handle these cases, contact experience and knowledge of an Indiana trucking accident attorney. If you or a loved one has been the victim of a trucking accident, contact the trucking accident attorneys at Christie Farrell Lee & Bell.