Commercial trucks can include concrete trucks, tractor-trailer trucks, dump trucks, tow trucks, and construction trucks, among others. These large commercial trucks can often weigh over 80,000 pounds, which is 20 times the weight of a typical passenger vehicle. Truck drivers are incentivized to drive quickly to either deliver cargo in the shortest period of time or complete a construction job quickly.
While federal and state regulations both have strict guidelines regarding the operation and maintenance of these large vehicles, in many cases truck drivers, trucking companies, and manufacturers overlook these legal regulations in order to make additional profit.
When cargo is overloaded or unsecured, when tractor-trailer drivers operate their truck without ensuring that they meet the federal rest requirements, or when construction truck drivers operate their trucks without proper training, catastrophic injuries and even death can occur. There are several ways that truck accidents are different from typical passenger vehicle accidents.
Larger Medical Bills and Property Damage
When a large commercial truck collides with a passenger vehicle, the victims often suffer serious injuries. In many cases, a victim may suffer from traumatic brain injuries, aortic dissections, spinal cord injuries leading to paralysis, disfigurement, amputations, internal organ damage or bleeding, or even post-traumatic stress disorder from the trauma of the accident. Along with substantial medical bills, victims oftentimes is left with a car that is totaled and without transportation for the period of time until it can be either repaired or replaced.
Larger Insurance Policies
While the medical bills and property damage may be greater than typical passenger vehicle accidents, the insurance policies of trucking companies or truck manufacturers is also much more substantial. In some instances, the insurance policies covering commercial trucks can be up to fifty times the amount a typical driver carries on the roadway.
Determination of Liability
While most passenger vehicle accidents are typically between two drivers, and a determination of negligence must be made between those drivers (or more drivers if it is a multiple car pile-up), in the case of a commercial trucking accident, there are several more parties which may be liable and responsible for a victim’s damages and losses. These would include the following:
- The truck driver
- The trucking company (as the employer of the truck driver under a legal theory known as respondeat superior)
- The truck owner (which is oftentimes different than the trucking company)
- Any third-party that loaded the truck incorrectly
- The shipper who hired the trucking company to deliver cargo
- Manufacturer of any defective or flawed truck part or component which either caused or contributed to the trucking accident
Contact an Experienced Attorney
If you were involved in a trucking accident, you likely suffered substantial injuries and property damage. Making the determination regarding liability can be a legally complex matter. Contact the experienced attorneys at The Law Office of Daniel H. Rose. We will work to build you a strong personal injury case to help you get you the compensation you deserve. Contact our experienced attorneys at (415) 946-8900 or online today.