- posted: Nov. 22, 2023
- Truck Accidents
Truck accidents can be devastating for those injured. Tractor trailers, semitrucks and other large commercial vehicles are much larger and heavier than other vehicles on the road, and a passenger car is no match for a big rig when the two collide. Lawsuits filed in the wake of truck accidents usually involve high levels of damages and sometimes complicated issues of liability.
Here are five reasons truck accident cases are more complex than simple motor vehicle injury cases:
- Shared liability — Truck accident cases often several parties, including the truck driver, trucking company, cargo shipper, maintenance provider and potentially a manufacturer. Each party can have a different type of liability for the accident and it can be difficult to determine who is principally at fault. In addition, truck accident cases often involve legal issues such as trucking regulation compliance, comparative negligence and multiple insurance coverages.
- Multiple vehicles — The size and weight of a big rig can make it harder for the driver to navigate out of a potential crash situation. The truck could ram into other vehicles and also create a road obstruction. Multi-vehicle accidents often result, making it more challenging to resolve causation, liability and insurance issues.
- More severe injuries — Truck accidents often cause catastrophic injuries, especially to occupants of smaller vehicles involved. These can include traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), spinal cord injuries, severe burns, amputations and internal injuries. In the worst cases, victims die, either immediately or after a period of suffering. Besides the physical and emotional trauma, victims and their families may face long-term disability, loss of income and other challenges.
- Regulatory issues — Commercial truckers doing interstate business are required to register with the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. That means they are subject to tough regulations concerning annual inspection, driver qualifications and truck maintenance. Regulatory violations, if they bear on the cause of an accident, can be a basis for finding a trucking company negligent.
- Higher insurance stakes — Since vehicle size is a major factor in setting liability coverage, commercial big rigs are insured at much higher policy limits than those for most passenger cars. Insurance companies facing this greater exposure often use aggressive tactics to minimize payouts. They try to show that the victim's injuries are not as severe as claimed or that the victim was significantly at fault for the accident.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, it is vital to understand your legal rights and options and to seek counsel. Truck accident litigation is complex, but an experienced truck accident lawyer can negotiate with insurance companies, and if necessary go to trial, to obtain the compensation you deserve.
At Massengill, Caldwell & Coughlin, P.C., in Bristol, Tennessee, our knowledgeable attorneys will evaluate your trucking accident claim and devise a winning strategy. Call our office today at 423-797-6022 or contact us online to discuss your case.