Are Truck Accidents Different from Car Accidents?

Personal Injury Lawyer

In many car accidents, there are usually two parties involved, the at-fault driver who caused the crash and the other driver who is the victim. If the victim is injured and suffers damages because of those injuries, they will likely file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company, who will either settle the case or, if necessary, the case could end up in civil court to be decided by a jury in a personal injury lawsuit.

Many people do not realize that truck accidents are different from car accidents, for a number of reasons. The following is a brief overview of these differences. A truck accident attorney can provide more details and legal options based on the circumstances of your case.

  • Time Sensitive: Although each state has set a statute of limitations for how long a victim has to file an accident claim – usually two to three years – filing a claim in a truck accident immediately is often critical to the success of the claim. This is because there is often evidence a truck accident attorney will use – such as truck driver logs, vehicle maintenance records, etc. – that could be lost or destroyed following the crash.
  • Federal Regulations: One of the major differences between the two types of crashes is that the trucking industry is under the oversight of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). This federal agency is in charges of setting rules and regulations that all companies are required to follow. When a trucking company – either through their driver or corporate action – fails to follow any of the standards the FMCSA sets and the result is a truck accident, the stronger a victim’s case is in proving liability for the crash. It is important to keep in mind, however, that when dealing with these regulations, it is crucial to have a truck accident attorney who is well versed in federal trucking regulations handling your case. An attorney who is unfamiliar with these rules may be unaware of critical information that could help or hinder your case.
  • Truck Driver Licensing Requirements: Another difference between truck and other type of vehicle accidents is that truck drivers are required to obtain a commercial driver’s license, also referred to as a CDL. There are also stringent rules associated with a CDL, including training requirements, random drug testing, and drivers must have physical exams on a regular basis to make sure they are not suffering from any medical conditions which could interfere with safe operation of their vehicles. This licensing higher standard means that any infraction – such as one which causes a truck accident – could lead to a CDL suspension or revocation.
  • Multiple Parties with Liability: There is usually more than one at-fault party named in truck accident cases. This can include the truck driver, trucking company, the freight company who loaded the cargo being transported, the company responsible for truck maintenance, or a truck part manufacturing company. Your trucking accident lawyer will investigate your case and make the determination of who should be named in your truck accident injury claim or lawsuit.