Is there any difference between personal injury cases involving car accidents and truck accident cases?
When it comes to truck accidents, here are a few factors that differentiate truck accident cases from car accident cases.
The Law of Physics
A major difference between accidents involving only passenger cars and those involving big rigs is the dynamics of what happens when a car hits a truck (or visa versa).
The sheer mass of a commercial big rig frequently results in massive—even catastrophic—injuries for the people in the passenger car. An 18-wheeler or commercial truck can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. A passenger car, on the other hand, usually weighs about 3,000 pounds.
The sheer tonnage of a commercial truck makes the impact to a passenger car massive–and the resulting injuries to those riding in it, often catastrophic.
The Laws Regulating Commercial Trucks
Another factor that changes the dynamics in a truck accident case is the fact that commercial trucks are regulated by both state and federal law. Truckers must, of course, obey all state traffic laws. In addition, however, those in the trucking industry must comply with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs). The FMCSRs govern all aspects of trucking, including (not limited to) licensing requirements, route limitations, and drivers’ work hours.
This means that in any litigation or claim involving a truck accident, it is important to know the laws and regulations governing commercial trucks and commercial trucking companies.
Having a complete understanding of the laws governing truck accidents is central to conducting a proper investigation of the accident. It is also key in recovering compensation for those injured by a negligent driver or due to the negligence of the trucking company.
Another major difference between trucking accidents and passenger car accidents is the investigation that follows the accident. Conducting a proper investigation after the accident to preserve the evidence is critical.
If you are involved in an accident with a commercial truck, it is important to understand that due to the enormity of the medical costs and/or wrongful death claims frequently involved in trucking accidents, commercial trucking companies (and their insurance companies) face enormous costs if the company (or its driver) is held liable for the accident. So most trucking companies immediately send out investigators, lawyers, and other personnel to the accident scene to gather evidence to minimize the trucking company’s exposure to liability.
Gathering and preserving the evidence is critical because much of the documentary evidence needed by personal injury counsel—such as truck driver logs, inspection reports and maintenance and repair reports—can lawfully be destroyed by the trucking company after a short period of time (generally 6 months).
The seriousness of the injuries involved in most trucking accidents along with the complex regulatory scheme governing commercial trucking are just a few of the factors that differentiate trucking accident cases from passenger car cases. If you or someone you know has been injured by a commercial truck, seek the advice of experienced personal injury counsel right away.
Truck Accident Attorneys in Georgia.
The personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Mark Weinstein, P.C., are here to help you. We serve clients in Atlanta, and in several counties throughout Georgia, including: Clayton County, Cobb County, Dekalb County, Douglas County, Fulton County, and Paulding County, among others. To find out how we can help you, call us at: 770-888-7707. Or contact us here.