Aside from the obvious distinction when comparing the sizes of a truck and a car, there are some other major differences to consider that all come into play if you are unfortunate enough to be involved in a collision with one of the largest vehicles on the road.
The accident numbers involving trucks are a definite cause for concern when you discover that there is almost twice as much chance of a fatality when a truck is involved in a collision.
Here are some of the fundamental reasons why truck accidents are so damaging to lives and to other vehicles too, and what it can mean if you are involved in a collision.
Trucks have the capacity to cause serious damage
It stands to reason that when you look at the size and weight of the average truck you are dealing with a vehicle that can easily become a motorized weapon that has the capacity to do some serious damage to any car it hits and the occupants of that car, albeit unintentionally.
You only have to talk to a truck accident lawyer in Atlanta, or anywhere else for that matter, and they will be able to tell you how truck collisions can so often result in more serious injuries and damage than when two cars collide.
A fully-loaded truck can easily weigh at least 80,000 pounds and the average car weighs about 3,000 pounds, so you don’t have to be a mathematician to work out which vehicle will come out worse if a truck and car have a crash.
If you are unfortunate enough to be involved in an accident in your car with a large truck it shouldn’t take much working out to realize who will be likely fare worse after impact.
Serious or fatal injuries are a heightened risk factor
The sheer weight and size of a truck mean that if it does crash into a car there is always the distinct possibility that any injuries sustained have the capacity to be far more serious than when two cars collide.
Any road traffic accident is bad news, of course, and there are sadly a number of fatalities on our roads each year, but the facts and figures tell us that recorded injuries tend to be more serious when a truck is involved.
Colliding with such a large vehicle that is much heavier than a car increases the prospect of serious neck and back injuries, broken bones, internal bleeding, and even brain damage.
The injuries sustained could so easily have life-changing consequences and could result in ongoing medical care for many years to come.
A more complicated legal situation
In addition to the likelihood of sustaining worse injuries when a truck is involved in a crash another fundamental difference that needs to be highlighted is how challenging it can be to prove liability and get justice.
Quite rightly, the trucking industry is heavily regulated and there are strict rules and laws that drivers have to comply with and trucking companies need to observe regarding the safety of their trucks.
These truck company owners and their drivers are both collectively responsible for complying with these regulations and this can complicate matters when a claim is filed for compensation after an accident.
What you may be facing is a scenario where there could be multiple defendants, each facing a claim that is probably a varying degree of liability.
If you are a car driver who wants to claim for injuries or damage sustained during a collision with a truck, you could find that your lawyer will have to deal with the truck driver, the truck company, and maybe even the ultimate owner of the truck as well.
Therefore, the distinction is clear, truck accident claims can often prove far more complex and challenging compared to making a claim against another car driver.
Trucking accidents are not always straightforward either
In addition to complications arising from the prospect of multiple defendants, there are other issues that also come into play that can make it harder to settle a dispute as quickly as you might when the accident involves two cars.
The reason for this is that there can often be added causes of an accident that have to be investigated, all of which takes time and money to resolve.
Road traffic accident figures point to the human error being a significant factor in most accidents and this may well still be the case if the truck driver was negligent in failing to stop at a red light, for instance, but there is also the possibility that the circumstances implicate the truck company too.
Equipment failure is a factor that features heavily in a number of reported truck accidents and that is a prime example of why truck accident claims can be more complicated compared to a car crash.
If faulty equipment is proved to be the cause of an accident, the question is whether the truck driver was negligent in not checking the roadworthiness of their vehicle, or does that failure rest with their employers the truck company?
The possibility of negligence
Finally, another major difference between truck drivers and car drivers is that truck drivers have a professional responsibility and require special licenses before they are allowed to take the wheel.
You have to pass a test to drive a car, of course, but truckers have ongoing training and fitness to drive requirements and responsibilities that they need to comply with.
The relevance of this is that there is the prospect of negligence being proved in some cases, making it far more serious to be a truck driver or company if you are involved in an accident and all the paperwork or training is not as it should be.
You don’t ever want to be involved in any road traffic accident but if it happens, and a truck is involved, you can now see how different and potentially serious that scenario might turn out to be.