Macon crash attorneys compare and contrast the differences between truck and car accidents
Drivers take classes, carry insurance and choose vehicles that carry the latest safety features in the interest of avoiding car accidents. However, most drivers don’t consider the drastic differences between accidents that occur between 2 or more passenger vehicles and those that involve commercial trucks.
For a number of reasons, truck accident victims usually require the assistance of an attorney who has specialized knowledge and experience in a particular area of personal injury law. For starters, these cases involve their own unique rules and regulations.
While the plaintiff’s injuries are often more severe in truck accident cases, commercial trucking companies tend to have more money to fight back with their team of corporate lawyers. Our Georgia truck accident attorneys will defend your rights against the corporate giants in the interest of getting you the compensation you need.
Here are the biggest reasons why truck wrecks differ from regular car accidents, and why it’s essential you hire an attorney with the right background and experience:
Size and weight differential
One of the most glaring differences between truck accidents and collisions that occur between passenger vehicles is the size and weight differential between the vehicles. The average semi-truck outweighs the average car by approximately 76,000 pounds. Therefore, a truck has the potential to cause more damage than a car that is traveling at the same speed.
Licensing and training
Because commercial trucks are greater in size, they also come with great responsibility. Truck drivers must obtain special licensing and training because large trucks have a greater stopping distance, more blind spots and a larger turn radius.
If truckers do not observe the safety rules they learn in training and obey the rules of the road, they may endanger unsuspecting drivers in smaller, more vulnerable passenger vehicles and cause severe injury to the people inside.
More regulations and requirements
Licensing and training are only the tips of the iceberg when it comes to rules and regulations truckers and their employers must follow. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates the commercial trucking industry. Loading of cargo, truck maintenance and inspection and hours of operation are among the practices the government agency oversees.
Drivers and their employers are required to keep records of each individual driver’s licensing, training information and medical conditions, in addition to tracking the hours each driver rests versus the amount of time they spend on the road. Truck accident attorneys carefully inspect these records as they may prove a trucking company’s liability.
Types and amount of compensation available
Because trucking accidents are more likely to cause severe injury and potentially death, settlement amounts and judgments are often much higher than in auto accident cases. Injured trucking accident victims typically receive compensation for their medical bills and expenses, ongoing therapies and time off work.
In some cases, accident victims and their families may receive additional compensation to cover other injuries, including some that are intangible. Your attorney will explain the types of compensation you may be entitled to based on the facts of your individual case.
Liability for the crash
Truck driving accidents often potentially involve multiple defendants. Not only may the driver be liable, but injured plaintiffs may also file a claim against the driver’s employer and, in some cases, the truck’s manufacturer, distributors, suppliers or the party who is responsible for loading cargo onto the truck. Legal claims that name multiple defendants can become complex very quickly.
However, the effort is generally worth it as each additional defendant provides another opportunity for the plaintiff to receive compensation for their injuries, medical expenses, lost wages and more. Because defendants in truck accident cases are generally corporations, injured plaintiffs must face up against highly-qualified, experienced corporate lawyers.
Importance of experience
When facing a multi-million dollar corporation and its roster of lawyers, a seasoned attorney with a proven track record is the only formidable option. In commercial truck accident cases, trucking industry attorneys often have a singular objective: to minimize the company’s legal expenses.
In cases in which the company’s attorney offers a settlement, the amount offered is often much less than the amount of compensation to which the defendant is legally entitled. We will work diligently to gather the evidence you need to put your best foot forward in settlement negotiations and, if necessary, before a judge in court.
Contact a qualified Macon truck accident attorney today
Personal injury cases have a statute of limitations. Therefore, accident victims and their families should contact an attorney as early as possible. If you would like reliable legal advice about your accident or about a loved one who has been involved in a commercial truck collision, contact Westmoreland Law today.