The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reports that accidents involving commercial trucks accounted for over 4,320 deaths, 77,000 injuries, and 287,000 property damage claims over just one year.
While significant truck accidents account for only a fraction of accidents out on the road, they’re often much more catastrophic due to their size. As such, the effort that comes with an investigation and pursuing various remedies involved with a truck accident tends to be more complex and time-consuming, which makes obtaining a truck accident lawyer in Scranton, PA, or wherever you happen to live critical for a successful settlement.
Determining Cause is More Complicated
With most car accidents, the cause is human error, such as a driver following too closely, changing lanes without signalling, or failing to stop at a red light when it comes to truck accidents. In contrast, the fault may be with the driver. The trucking company is often entirely or at least partially liable.
The accident may be due to the driver’s inadequate training, fatigue or exhaustion from spending too many hours on the road. When there’s a lot of pressure to move products quickly from one place to another, drivers are often behind the wheel far too long. Some trucking companies even encourage fewer hours of sleep or speeding by increasing compensation to drivers who travel more miles. Another common cause is equipment failure. That doesn’t necessarily free the driver from any liability due to the required inspections to ensure everything functions properly. Failure to inspect before the trip will usually result in the driver being at fault, but it can implicate the trucking company if it’s shown that the company acted negligently in failing to maintain the truck properly.
Due to these cases’ complexity, it becomes more important than ever to take a lot of pictures at the accident scene.
The Injuries Are Likely to be More Serious and the Damage Greater
Simply because a commercial truck is usually much larger than the vehicle or vehicles that it collides with, the damage can be substantial, and the likelihood of injuries increases as well. The average car weighs around 3,000 pounds, while a loaded semi-truck can easily weigh over 80,000 pounds, making it easy to understand why the impact is more significant. That’s why a commercial truck driver is required to carry insurance that has higher than normal liability limits, providing more money to the injured party.
The Compensation is Usually Higher
With more property damage and injuries resulting from an accident with a truck, the more it takes to be compensated. The law allows the victim to receive compensation to potentially return to the point where they were both physically and financially before the accident occurs. With a trucking accident, costs can be extremely high, potentially involving medical treatment and rehabilitation, home health care, loss of earnings, and loss of earning capacity. The victim is also entitled to other compensation for things like pain and suffering, diminished relations with their spouse, loss of employment life, and inconvenience.