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How Does a Truck Accident Differ from a Car Accident?

August 25, 2020 | Car Accident

No one wants to be involved in an accident of any kind. However, vehicle accidents involving cars and larger trucks are not uncommon in West Virginia. If you or somebody you care about has been injured due to the careless or negligent actions of another party on the roadway, you may be entitled to compensation. Here, we want to discuss the difference between accidents involving traditional vehicles and those involving larger commercial trucks. 

Frequency of Accidents

One of the main differences between truck accidents and car accidents is the frequency of each event. Accidents involving traditional passenger vehicles are very common on the streets of West Virginia. Large commercial trucks are only responsible for a relatively small percentage of accidents on the roadway. However, large commercial truck accidents are usually much more severe than accidents involving traditional passenger vehicles. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), large commercial trucks can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds when fully loaded with cargo. That is why it is not uncommon for those involved in accidents with these vehicles to sustain catastrophic injuries. 

Different Causes Of The Crashes 

When filing a car accident claim, you or your Martinsburg car accident attorney will need to establish which driver was negligent and caused the crash. Most car accidents are caused by driver error, which can include impaired driving, distracted driving, failing to follow traffic laws, etc. Accidents involving large trucks can also occur if a truck driver is careless behind the wheel, but there are also various factors that could cause a truck accident that have nothing to do with the driver. This can include defective truck parts, improperly inspected and maintained vehicles, improperly secured cargo, and more. 

Liability For The Accidents 

Determining liability is often the biggest difference between car and truck accident claims. In general, accidents involving traditional passenger vehicles will result in one driver being held totally responsible or two drivers sharing liability. However, most truck accident claims can be filed against multiple parties. Throughout the course of a truck accident investigation, it could be determined that a truck company is responsible for the incident just as much as the truck driver. It could also be the case that maintenance crews or the truck manufacturer could be held liable. 

Dealing With Insurance Carriers

Dealing with insurance carriers can be difficult in any type of accident scenario. When only passenger vehicles are involved in a crash, personal insurance carriers often put up resistance before accepting a claim or paying out a fair settlement amount. In some cases, insurance carriers refuse to offer a fair settlement at all. 

Accidents involving large commercial trucks are going to involve even more insurance carrier difficulty. Not only will more insurance carriers be involved, but they are likely going to do everything they can to avoid taking responsibility for the crash. While large commercial truck operators typically have higher insurance minimums, that does not mean it will be easy to obtain maximum compensation. In these cases, it is often necessary for victims to secure assistance from a skilled truck accident attorney to handle accident investigation and insurance carrier negotiations.