Seldom when we first hear about a car crash do we instantly think it involves a large truck such as an 18-wheeler. We learn about a crash and just assume it involves two passenger vehicles. But crashes involving large trucks happen more often than you might think. According to the most recent published data from theNational Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), over 7 % of all crashes in 2017 involved large trucks, with 24% of those resulting in serious injury or death.
When someone comes to Fulmer Sill seeking help because they or someone they love has been injured in a truck crash, we approach these cases very differently. This is because truck crashes tend to pose more complex issues than those between passenger vehicles. Read on to learn about five of the major differences between truck and car crashes.
- Federal Laws and Guidelines: Because of the risk a large truck poses, the drivers of large trucks must follow hundreds more laws and regulations than drivers of the typical passenger car. From requirements for special driver's licenses, maintenance, and inspections of trucks, to the keeping of logbooks, trucking companies, and their drivers are held to higher responsibilities. This makes truck wrecks much more complicated when it comes to proving a case.
- More Severe Injuries: Crashes involving large trucks are often more serious because trucks outweigh passenger vehicles by 20 –30%. With that added weight, the force of impact between a truck and a passenger car is greater. Plus, if the truck is hauling a load, it cannot slow down or stop as fast, increasing the force of impact. It only makes sense then, that more force absorbed by the body means more serious injuries. More serious injuries mean longer hospital stays and recovery times, more extensive treatment, longer periods of missed work, and a greater possibility of lifelong problems. Each of these things can have devastating financial consequences, which must be considered when deciding an acceptable settlement amount.
- Increased Chance of Death: According to NHTSA, truck crashes result in 3,000 –5,000 fatalities a year. Due to the sheer size of a large truck and the risk that poses, it is just more likely death will result from a crash with one.
- Greater Property Damage: Semi-trucks with a full trailer can weigh 80,000 pounds. This weight, when combined with the truck’s size, will inflict serious damage on anything that gets in its way. Because of this, truck crashes often result in significant and costly property damage.
- Compensation May be Difficult to Secure: Truck crashes usually result in higher damages to their victims. Because of this, trucking companies and their insurance companies employ tactics intended to minimize how much they might have to pay. Because of this, it is imperative you work with a trusted and experienced attorney.
Here at Fulmer Sill, we have extensive experience handling complex cases such as those arising from truck crashes. If you or a loved one has been affected by a truck crash, we encourage you to consult with our team as soon as possible. Call (405) 433-7414 to ensure you get what you deserve.