Truck wrecks are over two times more likely to be fatal than car crashes, according to recent Texas crash data. But that’s not the only difference that sets them apart. If you or a loved one have been injured in a truck wreck and are considering filing an injury claim, your claims will be more complex because you may have to navigate federal trucking rules and a tangle of competing insurance companies.
Unfortunately, what you don’t know can hurt you in a truck wreck claim. Read this article to learn more about the key differences between car and truck crashes and how they may impact your claim.
3 Important Ways Trucks Are Different Than Passenger Vehicles
1. Tractor-Trailers Can Be 20 Times Heavier Than Cars
Under federal law, most 18-wheelers can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. In comparison, the average car weighs 4,044 pounds. However, commercial vehicles with Texas overweight permits may be even bigger – “super heavy” permits allow trucks to carry weigh more than 200,000 pounds.
A big truck’s weight can contribute to a crash. They typically have:
- Longer stopping distances
- Larger blind spots
- Wider turn radiuses
- Decreased agility and responsiveness
All of these factors make them more likely to cause life-threatening crashes. When you add potentially hazardous cargo, such as flammable chemicals, to the mix, it’s no surprise that truck wrecks cause so many fatal and catastrophic injuries.
2. Trucks Have Different Technology and Maintenance Needs
Because of their extensive weight and time on the road, trucks require frequent maintenance. When you’re carrying loads for long hauls, tires, brakes, lights, and other parts can quickly deteriorate. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) Large Truck Crash Causation Study, 29% of brake problems contribute to 29% of all truck wrecks. Tire problems and defects lead to another 6%.
Are Trucking Regulations Encouraging Drowsy Driving?Read More
“To monitor truck performance and driver behaviors, many big trucking companies install telematics systems that monitor a vehicle’s speed, engine function, braking, location, and other factors in real-time. These systems can help trucking companies increase productivity – and can provide important evidence to your lawyer.“
At Crosley Law, we have extensive experience with truck defects, faulty maintenance, and telematic data. For example, we represented the family of a cyclist who died during a truck crash. The only surviving witness was the truck driver – who quickly blamed our client. Our investigation uncovered multiple safety violations that contributed to the crash, including a faulty right-turn signal. Armed with this information, we recovered a substantial, confidential settlement for the family.
3. Drowsy Driving Is Common for Commercial Drivers
Under federal hours of service rules, truck drivers can only operate their vehicles for a limited time before taking a break. Sadly, many trucking companies are more concerned about profits than driver safety. Even though federal laws prohibit coercion, where a company pressures a driver to violate the hours of service rules or other safety rules, it is relatively common. Other times, long-haul drivers decide to bend or break the rules themselves.
Crosley Law frequently represents people injured by tired, ill, and otherwise impaired truckers. According to the FMCSA, fatigue, over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, and prescription medications are among the top ten causes for truck crashes.
Injury Claims for Truck Wrecks Have Several Key Differences
When it comes to 18-wheelers and other big trucks, their size and time on the road aren’t the only differences. After a crash, victims will also discover that their claims aren’t like a typical fender bender.
Commercial Truck Claims May Involve Multiple Negligent Parties
Who Is Liable in a Commercial Truck Accident?Read More
When a car crash involves two passenger vehicles, there’s a good chance that only one person was at fault. However, many parties can contribute to a truck wreck, and they all may have separate insurance companies and defenses.
Negligent parties for truck wrecks can involve the:
- Truck driver
- Parent truck company
- Freight brokers
- Loading companies
- Truck or parts manufacturers
- Truck mechanics and service providers
While all of these claims may complicate your case, multiple insurance policies can also help you get fair compensation for your injuries. (Some trucking companies have millions in commercial insurance coverage.)
More Regulations Apply to Truck Drivers and Companies
Besides having to follow Texas’ rules of the road, commercial drivers also must obey many federal trucking regulations. They set additional requirements about drivers’ hours of service, truck maintenance, health and wellness, and training. When a truck driver or company violates these rules, it can streamline your injury claims. However, identifying regulatory violations isn’t an easy process.
For example, Crosley Law represented a man who was hit head-on by a negligent truck driver. We interviewed more than 40 witnesses and experts, found falsified hours of service logs, evidence of drunk driving, and other serious issues. Then, we presented all of this compelling evidence to a jury – who awarded our client fair compensation for his profound injuries.
Truck Wrecks Can Cause a Lifetime of Damages
Understanding the Costs and Complications of a Spinal Cord InjuryRead More
Large trucks can cause devastating crashes and injuries, including spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), and burns. In these catastrophic cases, you may face decades of medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering. While you may be able to calculate your current financial losses, how do you estimate your future needs?
At Crosley Law, we work with experts, including doctors, occupational therapists, nurses, and life care planners, to calculate our clients’ damages. Then, we give our clients the information and emotional support they need to make smart decisions about their claims and their settlement value.
Crosley Law: San Antonio’s Trusted Truck Crash Lawyers
Request Your Free Consultation
At Crosley Law, our experienced truck accident attorneys thoroughly investigate all potential negligent parties and causes of truck wrecks. Because we focus on truck wrecks and other catastrophic crashes, we understand the nuances and complexities associated with commercial vehicle claims.
If you or a loved one have been a victim of a truck accident in Texas, contact our attorneys today. Call us at 210-LAW-3000 | 210-529-3000 or complete this brief online form to schedule your free consultation.
Abuelsamid, S. (2019, January 3). New vehicles keep getting heavier – Or are they? Forbes. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/samabuelsamid/2019/01/03/new-vehicles-keep-getting-heavier-or-are-they/#6283a97e4518
Oversize/overweight permits (n.d.). Texas Department of Motor Vehicles. Retrieved from https://www.txdmv.gov/motor-carriers/oversize-overweight-permits
Texas Department of Transportation. (2019, August). Texas motor vehicle crash statistics: Cumulative crash statistics 2003–2018. Austin, TX: Texas Department of Transportation. Retrieved from https://www.txdot.gov/government/enforcement/annual-summary.html
The large truck crash causation study – Analysis brief. (2007, July). Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Retrieved from https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety/research-and-analysis/large-truck-crash-causation-study-analysis-brief
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.
Related ArticlesView All Blog Articles
Parking Lot Crashes: Who Has the Right of Way (and Who Is to Blame)?Apr 06, 2021
All parking lot car accidents are minor fender benders, right? Think again. Pedestrians and other vulnerable road users are often injured in parking lot crashes when a distracted or reckless driver breaks the rules. Unfortunately, many people don’t take parking lot safety seriously—or mistakenly think that Texas’ rules of the road don’t apply in parking garages and lots. Our injury lawyers have helped many crash […]
How Do I Prepare for an “Independent Medical Examination?”Apr 05, 2021
If you’re involved in a car accident lawsuit or another personal injury claim, the insurance company might schedule an “independent medical examination” (IME) for you. However, these exams are rarely independent or neutral. Instead, the adjuster is scheduling your exam with a doctor they trust—one whose reports consistently favor the insurer and might weaken your […]
Who Is at Fault in a T-Bone Car Accident?Mar 22, 2021
T-bone car accidents are dramatic, dangerous, and common — which is why they are so often depicted in films and television. Yet, while these crashes can make for good entertainment, no one ever wants to experience one in real life. Common injuries from T-bone accidents include brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, crushed and amputated limbs, […]
Car Accidents and Broken Bones: How Much Is My Case Worth?Mar 02, 2021
Broken bones are common during car accidents. The forces during a collision can shatter bones in our back, legs, pelvis, and other areas, causing pain and severe limitations. And while some broken bones heal relatively quickly, these injuries can also become complicated and lead to permanent disability. Our team of experienced personal injury lawyers helps […]
Can I Get Compensation for a Knee Injury from a Car Accident?Mar 02, 2021
Knee injuries from car accidents are one of the most common reasons people file personal injury lawsuits. There are three main reasons for this: Our knees are especially susceptible to injuries in a car accident because they rest underneath or against the dashboard. Knee injuries are often more severe than other injuries and can seriously impact our mobility. Knee injuries often worsen over time and can even turn into life-altering […]
Will a Back Surgery Affect My Car Accident Settlement?Feb 11, 2021
Car accident injuries that require surgery often increase the chances of securing a settlement in a personal injury claim. In particular, back surgeries not only increase the chances of securing a car accident settlement, but also significantly improve the average monetary value of the settlement. To be clear, we’re not advocating for you or our […]
What’s Causing My Hip Pain After a Car AccidentFeb 11, 2021
Injuries sustained to your hip in a car accident can be debilitating. Even if you feel fine after a crash, it’s important not to ignore minor aches and pains that may arise hours, days or even weeks later because they potentially could have a severe impact on both your overall long-term health and a personal […]
How Do I Get a Texas Accident Report?Feb 11, 2021
There are a lot of things that you need to do after your car accident. In addition to getting immediate medical attention, you also need to call the police and file a report. A Texas peace officer crash report will be filled out by the responding officer, and it’s important to get a copy of […]
What Does an Insurance Adjuster Do?Feb 11, 2021
If you’ve been in a car accident, you know how overwhelming and traumatic the process can be. Recovering from your injuries and dealing with lost wages, medical bills, pain and suffering, and other damages is a lot to deal with. Making sure that you do everything right to file a successful claim can seem impossible. […]
Who Sideswiped Who? Here’s How to Find Out and What to DoFeb 11, 2021
If you’ve been driving for any length of time, chances are that you’ve seen another driver drift out of their lane. Sometimes they’re able to course-correct, but when the side of their vehicle makes contact with the side of another car, that’s called a sideswipe crash. When a sideswipe crash (also called a “blind spot […]
Do you or a family member
need legal advice?
Crosley Law Firm, PC is a professional corporation of trial lawyers focused on representing individuals and families who have suffered serious personal injuries or wrongful death. If you’ve been injured, fill out the form for a free consultation, or call 210-LAW-3000.