How Big Truck Accidents Differ from Other Car Accidents

If you’ve been involved in a semi-truck crash, recovering compensation differs significantly from typical car accident claims. Truck accidents are more complex and high stakes than passenger car cases, from the severity of your injuries to liable parties in the collision and dealing with a trucking company’s insurer.

Knowing the differences between semi-truck and passenger car collisions can prepare you for your case if you’ve been injured in a crash. The big truck attorneys at Cofman Townsley can help you navigate the accident claims process so you can maximize your compensation.

Truck Accidents are More Dangerous

Despite making up only 4% of the registered vehicles in the United States in 2020, large trucks accounted for 9% of accident fatalities. Of the 4,965 people who died in large truck collisions in 2020, 71% were passenger vehicle occupants. Over 107,000 trucks were involved in injury accidents that year.

Trucks are more dangerous on the road due to their size and weight, blind spots, and braking distance requirements. They can also be more dangerous due to driver fatigue, a common problem for truckers expected to drive long distances with few breaks.

  • Size and weight: Trucks are much larger and weigh 20 to 30 times more than passenger vehicles. The weight difference can cause extensive damage when involved in a crash with a car.
  • Blind spots: Larger trucks have much larger blind spots than passenger vehicles. Semis have blind spots around the cab and trailer’s back, front, and sides. This makes it difficult to see smaller vehicles driving alongside the truck, increasing the risk of an accident.
  • Braking distance: The weight and size of a truck mean they build up more momentum and are harder to stop, requiring extra braking distance. Some trucks need up to 525 feet to come to a complete stop, which increases the risk of an accident when a driver cuts a semi off, or the truck has to brake abruptly.

Truck Accidents Have Complicated Liability

Determining liability in a big truck accident is more complicated than in other car accident cases. Unlike a passenger car accident claim, multiple parties, such as the driver, trucking company, truck manufacturer, or cargo loader, may be liable.

To determine liability, your attorney will examine several factors, including the cause of the accident, the actions of the parties involved, and FMCSA trucking regulation violations.

For example, your attorney may discover that the trucking company forced their driver to operate the truck without taking the federally or state-mandated breaks, which led to your accident. In this case, you may be able to file a claim with the trucking company.

Determining who is at fault in a big truck accident requires experience in big truck accident cases. Our attorneys at Cofman Townsley know what evidence to look for, such as illegal schedules, incomplete inspections, or improper training. We will help you gather this evidence and file a claim against the appropriate parties.

Dealing with Trucking Companies and Their Insurers is More Challenging

Dealing with trucking companies and their insurers can be more challenging than a passenger car accident. Trucking companies and their insurers often have experienced legal teams skilled at minimizing liability and reducing compensation for crash victims.

Truck accidents involve larger vehicles and higher speeds, resulting in more severe injuries and damages with higher potential settlements. The trucking company and its insurer will use several tactics to try and lower your compensation, including:

  • Arguing that you are partially responsible for the accident, reducing your damage award per Missouri’s pure contributory fault doctrine
  • Disputing the severity of your injuries, using your statements or social media posts against you
  • Offering you a low initial settlement, implying you’ll lose out on compensation if you don’t accept
  • Delaying or denying your claim, hoping you will give up and settle for less than you deserve
  • Using aggressive legal tactics if your case goes to court, such as filing motions or discrediting a witness so you’ll settle

Contact a Truck Accident Lawyer

You need skilled legal representation to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve after a big truck accident. Our attorneys at Cofman Townsley have over 50 years of experience dealing with trucking companies and their insurers. We will fight to protect your rights and get you a fair settlement for your injuries.

Contact Cofman Townsley for a free consultation to discuss your legal options.