If you have ever been in a car accident, you must know how quickly cases that initially appear straightforward may become complex. Multiple parties must participate in the process of determining which driver is responsible. Managing auto maintenance, insurance claims, and medical care may also be a significant hassle.
However, if there is anything more complicated than a car accident, it’s accidents with big rigs. Liability in big rig accidents may not be as clear-cut as in a typical vehicle accident, and damage recovery after an accident is often longer and more difficult. This article outlines the factors that make big rig accidents more complicated than car accidents.
Vehicle size is one of the elements that insurance companies consider when determining coverage costs. Truck premiums can be valued up to 40 times more than plans for passenger vehicles.
As a result, many insurers would go to great lengths to avoid being held responsible for accidents. Additionally, the federal government has many rules and regulations that the trucking business must adhere to.
For instance, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and Department of Transportation (DOT) registration are mandatory for trucking businesses to function. Additionally, the safety guidelines are more than 700 pages long. These regulations govern driver safety, inspections, licensing, and how a trucking company may conduct business.
A lawyer who is trying a lawsuit against a commercial trucking company must be knowledgeable about the staggering number of complex rules that regulate trucking. A competent, seasoned, and responsive legal team helps prevail in court.
Moreover, with the larger insurance coverage, the trucking and insurance firms have robust legal teams ready to settle your case quickly. Insurance companies will not only battle you with their most capable legal teams but will also use manipulative strategies and tactics on the case.
Greater Injuries And Damage
These vehicles, by their very design, have a higher fatality rate than passenger cars. A commercial truck can harm you and your property more than a passenger automobile. Consequently, the extent of their injuries may be passed on to the passengers.
With typical whiplash turning into injured nerves and traumatic brain injury, injuries can rapidly become lethal. Medical bills incurred from a big rig accident can be significantly more. Not to forget, it is far more difficult to win a claim against large corporations and insurance companies than in a car accident.
The ownership and accountability of trucks can be unclear. Many truckers operate as owner-operators, meaning they own their vehicles. However, some may operate vehicles that are legally the property of another business.
When transporting cargo that belongs to someone else, things get considerably more challenging. Additionally, trucks are frequently more difficult to manage due to their size and weight.
It is more difficult for investigators to pinpoint culpability and hasten the victim compensation process when multiple cars are involved. In any case, it might be challenging to establish clear lines of ownership and establish who was at fault.
In many big rig incidents, the involvement of driver error and driver weariness cannot be isolated. Safety precautions and maintenance, like adequate tire pressure, must be conducted periodically.
If a truck needs to stop multiple times, the crew must unload the cargo specifically for each location and then properly reload the remaining cargo. Similar to maintenance, loading is frequently carried out by contractors or subcontractors and significantly impacts who is liable.
Various data elements, including travel speeds over time, are recorded on some trucks. The accident’s preceding events can be reconstructed using these facts. If the data clashes with other evidence, this may create new complications.
Truck accidents may be difficult to handle, but they are not impossible. To ensure you’re moving forward in the proper direction, consult a lawyer as early as possible. Otherwise, you risk being at the whim of the trucking and insurance industries.