Consider yourself lucky to have survived a trucking accident. However, you may be facing a tough road ahead, especially if you’re dealing with medical bills.
Trucking accidents are different from car accidents. They cause more complications in terms of injury, regulations, and insurance. If you’re not careful, you could lose a truck accident case, even if you’re owed compensation.
To avoid mishaps, hire a Columbia truck accident lawyer who can help you gather the necessary evidence. This article will compare a trucking vs car accident in more detail. Read on to know more.
Overall, truck accidents are more dangerous than car accidents. You face a higher likelihood of a serious accident if a truck hits you. On average, a truck can weigh over 80,000 pounds.
Further, the cargo makes the truck heavier. As a result, truck drivers have a harder time slowing down or stopping due to excess weight.
On the other hand, the average car weighs around 3,000 pounds. You’re more likely to suffer from the following issues after a semi-truck accident:
- Major whiplash
- Back injuries
- Head trauma
- Broken bones
Additionally, truck drivers have to contend with blind spots. If you remain in their blind spot, they may switch into your lane and hit your car. Trucking blind spots include the right side, the direct front, and the direct back.
Trucks are also dangerous because there are different ways you can become mired in a truck accident. Consider the following types of truck accidents:
- Rollovers: This occurs when the truck rolls over and skids across the road, hitting nearby motorists along the way.
- Jackknife: Jackknifing happens when the truck folds in on itself at a 90-degree angle. The driver loses control as the trailer pushes the cab forward
- Wide Turns: The driver normally maneuvers left to make a right. However, the driver can hit pedestrians or other vehicles if they don’t see the right side.
- T-Bone: The driver may run a red light and hit a vehicle at a perpendicular angle.
- Under Ride: Motorists can become trapped under the trailer.
As such, each type of trucking accident carries a higher likelihood of death or severe injury, especially under-ride accidents.
High Medical Bills
The dangerous nature of truck accidents can cause dire injuries and higher medical costs. You may also need additional costs for long-term recovery.
Perhaps you suffered a major back injury that requires months of physical therapy. Car accidents can cause similar injuries, but they’re usually not as severe as truck accident injuries.
Additionally, you may have to stay in the hospital for an extended period. Hospital stays are costly. Further, you may contend with multiple injuries that add up over time. In extreme cases, you may deal with a lifelong disability or injury.
A serious injury can also force you out of work. The inability to work for long periods will cause financial problems.
There are also mental and emotional costs. The debilitating injuries may have lowered your quality of life. Perhaps you developed depression as well. Many victims remain traumatized by the accident, causing PTSD or anxiety.
Severe injuries require higher compensation. A court may award you the following types of awards:
- Lost Wages: A court can calculate the lost hours and wages and compensate you accordingly.
- Medical Expenses: The courts can also compel defendants to pay your medical bills, including long-term medical expenses.
- Property Damage: Your car may have been totaled during the accident. The accident may have damaged other types of property.
- Pain and Suffering: This category mostly applies to mental and emotional anguish. It can also cover permanent scarring.
- Punitive Damages: Punitive damages may also apply if the driver was grossly negligent. Punitive awards punish the negligent party. The amount can be higher if a loved one died during the accident.
Motorists must abide by road safety rules. Commercial truck drivers must adhere to additional safety standards and federal regulations. For instance, The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration stipulates that drivers must submit to the following standards:
- Regulated hours
- Routine employee evaluations
- Drug/alcohol testing
- Keeping logs
- Regular maintenance
- Obtain a commercial driver’s licenses
- Yearly inspections
These standards can make it harder to determine liability. Therefore, you need an experienced trucking accident lawyer who knows how to investigate semi-truck car crashes.
Larger Insurance Payouts
The average cost of a truck accident involving a single person can cost around $140,000. The cost can go up to $7 million for severe accidents. Trucking companies normally carry hefty insurance policies to cover truck damage.
These policies can amount to millions of dollars. That’s why insurance carriers are more determined than ever to wiggle out of paying you. Since insurance companies will use more underhanded tactics, hire a seasoned truck accident lawyer immediately.
Carriers will use seasoned adjusters to lower payouts or dismiss claims. Adjusters only need to shift a small amount of blame to you, allowing them to reduce or reject your insurance case.
In other cases, they could offer an upfront settlement to bait victims into accepting the offer. In most cases, the first offer from an insurance company isn’t adequate.
High Stakes — Why Trucking Accidents Are Different from Car Accidents
Trucking accidents are different from car accidents because they are often more serious due to the size of the trucks. Many victims have crippling injuries that require months of care. These types of accidents also command higher payouts. The victim must have enough money to cover long-term injuries.
Due to various commercial regulations, victims must also know where to assign liability. Additionally, they must deal with insurance companies looking to deny truck accident claims at every turn. However, a Columbia car accident attorney can help you pinpoint liability and combat insurance companies.
Did you suffer through a truck accident? Contact our South Carolina truck accident lawyers today to learn how we can help you.