Car accidents in any form fall under personal injury lawsuits. If you have been in an accident with a truck, you can file a lawsuit to claim the damages.
Logically, car accidents involving trucks are more lethal for car passengers than for truck drivers. However, if you are involved in a similar case and are not an at-fault driver in the accident, here is everything you should know about truck accident lawsuits.
Facts About Car Accidents Involving Trucks
Thankfully, car accidents involving trucks are less common. However, these are more fatal and are reportedly increasing in number.
According to the IIHS organization, in the year 2019, 67% of the total passengers who died in truck accidents were occupants of the car.
Also, according to Policy Advice Truck accident statistics, there has been a 52% increase in truck accidents since the year 2019. What’s even more disappointing is that in most cases (81%), the car driver is assigned the fault for a car-truck accident.
Other statistics say that 74% of fatal passenger vehicle accidents are caused by long-haul vehicles like a truck.
What Makes Truck Accidents Fatal?
There are various obvious reasons why car accidents involving trucks are more dangerous and more often fatal. Some of the common causes include:
Weight of the Vehicle
A truck is nearly 20 times heavier in size than a car. For example, an average car weighs 4000 pounds, whereas an average weight of a truck is 80000 pounds.
Height of the Vehicle
A heavier vehicle technically will have a higher build. The trucks are therefore twice as high as most cars. This is also one of the common reasons why trucks are more likely to roll over when met with an accident.
The large-sized vehicle like trucks takes more time to stop than cars because of their weight. Therefore, in case of an emergency stop, trucks more likely try to get out of the way instead of sharply putting on breaks.
Driving trucks is all about patience and a huge responsibility. However, overspeeding a truck or losing control over it can be more dangerous.
Parties Liable in a Truck Accident
Who to sue in a car accident involving a truck? The answer can vary from case to case as there are many parties involved in truck use. The parties to sue in case of a car accident involving a truck may include:
Most commonly, the first person to sue in a car-truck accident is not the driver but the trucking company. This is because trucking companies are fully responsible for their trucks, their maintenance, and their inspections.
They are responsible for assigning the truck to a responsible driver that is trained and is following the designated driving hours sincerely. Plus, they are responsible for keeping the record log of hours of service. The hours of service should exceed 11 hours and, in most urgent cases, 14 hours.
A car accident injury lawyer would keep such things in mind when handling your case.
In cases where the accident is purely caused due to the negligence of the driver, he is likely to be held liable. This involves cases of driving under the influence or driving beyond the designated working hours.
Loading Crew Members
Third-party companies do the work of loading and unloading cargo in the truck. These companies are the customers of the trucking company and also the producer of what is being loaded.
If the accident is caused due to the overloading of the truck, the parties responsible for loading the freight are to be sued.
If the car-truck accident is caused due to the malfunction of the truck, truck manufacturers can also be held liable for the accident. However, it is sometimes difficult to establish liability in such cases if the truck is old.
If the truck is insured, the victim has to deal with the truck’s insurance company to establish the terms of claims.
In some instances, the insurance of a truck can be managed by more than one insurance company. Tracking them down on your own can be a difficult task. Taking the help of a good personal injury lawyer is helpful under such tricky circumstances.
Contact Our Truck Accident Lawyers Today
Establishing liability in case of car-truck accidents is a difficult task, proving the liable party at fault in the accident. If you have lost your loved one in a car-truck accident, hiring a truck accident lawyer can be your best bet to recover the damages.