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Commercial Truck Crashes vs. Car Accidents:  5 Key Differences

Commercial Truck Crashes vs. Car Accidents: 5 Key Differences

| Apr 10, 2018

A traffic collision occurs about once every 3.9 minutes in South Carolina. While each accident is unique, the difference between whether a commercial truck or a compact car is involved will change the way your personal injury case goes. Simple things like rules and regulations, collection of evidence and liability suddenly get more complex with truck accidents, and it’s important that you know the steps to take after being injured in a crash.

Let’s break down the key differences between commercial truck crashes vs. car accidents:

Rules and Regulations:

Size of vehicles triggers important federal and state safety regulations. Because large trucks between 10,000 and 90,000 pounds are more difficult to operate safely and cause such devastating damage in crashes, the government requires commercial trucks to comply with special regulations to keep the public safe. Victims of commercial truck crashes need a law firm that understands these regulations and that can act quickly to investigate potential violations that can prove the owner of the truck was responsible for the crash. If a truck was not properly maintained and inspected before getting on the highway, it could be deemed to have been “out of service” and thus never should have been on the road to begin with. Our firm has a quick response team to get experienced experts to the scene to preserve critical evidence before it disappears. Our firm is prepared to spend as much time and money as it takes to prosecute our client’s case. These investigations can involve multiple experts and could cost up to tens of thousands of dollars. Without the support of an experienced and committed injury law firm like George Sink, PA, victims of truck crashes would be up against trucking companies and their insurance companies who have seemingly unlimited resources to investigate and shield the victims from potentially important evidence of liability and regulation violations. Our law firm works closely with the most experienced truck safety experts and accident reconstruction engineers in the business to make sure these trucking industry issues are fully explored and considered in the value of our clients’ case.

Liability:

In our experience, commercial truck drivers and their employers tend to avoid accepting responsibility for their negligence or recklessness. Because their business income is impacted by crash events, truck drivers and their employers rarely admit fault and even more rarely voluntarily disclose regulation violations. Victims of trucking negligence need to be vigilant to prove the trucking company and its driver caused the crash and all of the reasons the crash occurred that could have been avoided had the truck driver and its employer made safety as much of a priority as profits. While police and Highway Patrol officers come to the scene of all crashes and prepare a report, this determination is not binding on the insurance companies. Trucking companies and insurance companies have the resources to conduct their own investigations and to actively manage the evidence after a crash. Victims of trucking crashes who rely solely on the police report are often frustrated to learn that the trucking company continues to deny the claim, regardless of what the police found. This is why it is most important that victims hire an experienced injury law firm like George Sink, PA as soon as possible after a truck crash so that we can take quick action to preserve evidence.

More Severe Damages:

The size of the commercial trucks often causes very severe and life-altering damages. Victims of truck accidents need a law firm that is experienced in proving the full extent of damages in catastrophic injury and wrongful death cases. George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers understands how to utilize nurse case managers, medical experts, life care planners, animations, economists and other experts to document the full extent of damages to help our clients obtain a just result. Victims of catastrophic brain injuries, amputations, disabling injuries or the loss of a family member from a crash do not want their law firm to be dealing with such severe circumstances for the first time. Victims of such severe harms and losses need to know that their lawyers have led many clients through such difficult times and know how to get them through the physical and emotional journey that follows such a tragedy and to a result that provides as much justice as is possible. Our firm has helped many families in South Carolina through some of the worst experiences one can imagine. We take pride in guiding our clients with compassion, honor, patience, courage and the wisdom of knowing what it takes to win justice for them.

How did the business contribute to the crash?:

‘Commercial” means that the conduct of the business and how the business may have contributed to the crash must be investigated. Did the company take reasonable care in hiring, training and supervising its employee who caused the crash? Did the company properly maintain the vehicle? Did the manner in which the company tasked the employee or compensated the employee create a work environment that made that employee less safe to the public? Did the company encourage or look the other way at employee violations of safety regulations such as hours of service or dangerous health issues such as sleep apnea and chronic fatigue. Did the company provide and encourage use of distracting electronics while driving? When the driver who causes a crash is working at the time, the employer of that driver is usually responsible. Determining how the employer may have contributed to the crash makes such cases different than car accidents between drivers who are not in the scope of their employment.

Commercial vehicles, trucks and cars, have more insurance coverage:

Victims of crashes involving trucks and cars owned by businesses need an experienced law firm like George Sink, PA to investigate the different types of insurance coverage that may be available. State and federal regulations govern the insurance industry and coverage disputes often arise between accident victims and the insurance companies. Victims need experienced guidance to know with confidence that the insurance companies are providing all of the coverage possible. Also, when damages to victims are greater than the amount of insurance coverage, it is critical to know how to find excess coverage that may be available to help victims make a full recovery. This means understanding how to investigate the different layers of liability insurance available from the truck or car that caused the crash, but also understanding how to look for other potential sources of recovery for the victim, such as health insurance, medical payments coverage, workers’ compensation, product liability claims for defective equipment involved in the crash, or defective roadway issues.

Schedule a FREE Consultation With a Truck Accident Attorney Today!

Accidents happen, and when they do, our South Carolina truck accident lawyers at George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers are ready to fight for you. Whether it’s a small car wreck or a massive accident involving commercial trucks, we can help.

We’re available 24/7 for a FREE consultation. Contact us today at 888-612-7001!

Sources

  1. http://www.scdps.gov/ohsjp/fact%20book/2015%20Fact%20Book.pdf
Categories: Trucking Accident
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