Many people assume that semi-truck accidents are handled the same way as personal car accidents, but the truth is they are handled drastically differently. Suppose you have been involved in a semi-truck accident. In that case, you will want to make certain you hire an attorney with experience in semi-truck accidents and not just an attorney with car accident experience. Here are the five main ways truck accidents are different than car accidents.
The attorneys at The Law Offices of Samer Habbas & Associates, PC, are experienced in semi-truck and commercial vehicle accidents and can help you make sure you receive the compensation and representation you deserve. To set up an appointment, call 888-848-5084 today or contact us online.
1 – Different Set Of Rules
Under California law, truck drivers and the trucking industry are governed by a completely different set of rules and regulations by both the state and federal governments. For example, all trucking companies must be registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, or FMCSA, and the Department of Transportation in California or Caltrans. With these registrations, all companies will have to follow specific requirements to be licensed and able to operate within the state legally.
Since most of the trucks in the United States routinely travel between multiple states, they must register with the FMCSA and follow federal regulations since they fall under federal jurisdiction. The federal regulations are spelled out in the “Green Book,” which lays out each safety procedure and how they must be followed. This book is currently over 700 pages long. There are safety procedures for everything from driver safety, inspections, licensing, and the type of insurance trucking companies must carry.
Should you hire an attorney, it is essential that the attorney you hire is familiar with all of the regulations placed on the trucking industry so they can spot discrepancies in your case in order to achieve the highest amount of compensation. It is challenging to learn all of the FMCSA codes while working a trucking case. Consider hiring an attorney with experience.
2 – Greater Damage & Injuries
Larger vehicles mean more extensive damages and more significant injuries. A standard passenger car weighs on average 1,500 to 2,000 pounds, but an average semi-truck weighs anywhere from 70,000 to 80,000 pounds. The difference between the two is at least 40 times as much weight! This can easily lead to the same amount of increased damages and injuries caused by the accident.
When you compare the size difference between a standard passenger car and the average semi-truck, there is no doubt the semi-truck will cause much more damage to the small car and the passengers in the small car. Individuals involved in semi-truck accidents typically have much more severe injuries and may require medical care for the rest of their lives. Unfortunately, there are typically more fatal truck accidents, so your attorney must be experienced to handle the increased amount of damage and injury.
3 – Bigger Medical Bills
When the size of the accident is more than 40 times as much as the damage typically experienced in a standard passenger car accident, it makes sense that the medical bills may be increased by the same amount. Bigger medical bills mean longer hospital stays, more testing, more doctors, more specialists, and usually more surgeries.
All of this equates to bigger medical bills. In order to make sure the trucking company pays for the medical bills, you will need an experienced team of attorneys to prove the case and ensure your medical bills are covered.
4 – Increased Fatalities
According to the FMCSA, around 3,000 to 5,000 people die each year in accidents with semi-trucks. Dealing with a wrongful death claim as a result of an accident is very different than dealing with a personal injury claim. If there were multiple people in the vehicle, your family’s attorney may have to deal with a number of claims, each of which could be different. Since there are multiple claims stemming from the same accidents, consider hiring a team of attorneys who can handle the different elements of each case.
5 – Larger Insurance Policies
Because of the larger accidents and the injuries that may stem from even just a slight accident, trucking companies have larger insurance policies than the standard car driver. These insurance companies know they may be on the hook for larger settlements and payouts if an accident occurs, so they hire large teams of powerful attorneys to find ways to reduce the amount they must pay out.
These attorneys and insurance adjusters can find even the slightest amount of fault to be able to blame you for the accident. They can ask you very tricky questions to make you frustrated and admit something that you shouldn’t.
Even admitting to a small amount of fault may reduce your settlement amount by hundreds or thousands of dollars. An experienced truck accident attorney will know the types of questions to look for and prevent you from answering them in a way that may damage your compensation.
California Personal Injury Attorneys Can Help You
If you find yourself injured as a result of a commercial vehicle accident, consider hiring attorneys who know the law and know how to achieve the highest amount of compensation from the trucking company and the insurance companies.
The personal injury attorneys at The Law Offices of Samer Habbas & Associates, PC, can help you navigate the stressful process of a truck accident lawsuit. We are ready to represent you and make sure you receive all of the compensation you deserve. Call 888-848-5084 today to schedule your appointment or contact us online.
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