Understanding the Complexities of Truck Accidents

Understanding the Complexities of Truck Accidents
Calendar icon February 21, 2024

When it comes to automotive accidents, those involving trucks can often be the most dangerous and complex to handle. Trucks, due to their sheer size and weight, are capable of causing tremendous damage, making these accidents particularly problematic from a legal, financial, and medical standpoint. 

While collisions involving trucks are not as common as one may think, the aftermath of these accidents can be catastrophic. 

Understanding Truck Accidents: The Dynamics at Play

Since commercial trucks require a longer stopping distance compared to cars, the potential for rear-end collisions is magnified, especially in poor weather conditions or when a driver is fatigued. Additionally, big rigs and trucks have larger blind spots than more compact cars, which increases the risk of a sideswipe collision during lane changes or merges.

Another important factor that many don’t consider is the load being carried by the truck. Improperly secured or overweight loads can lead to an increased risk for jackknife or rollover accidents on the road. While improper loading is not necessarily the driver’s fault, there are third parties that could be held liable for injuries resulting from the accident.

Determining Liability In Truck Accidents

When a truck accident occurs, there are numerous parties that could be held liable. Unlike a collision between personal vehicles, truck accidents often involve a commercial trucking company, potentially making the company responsible for the actions of its employees due to a legal principle known as “respondeat superior.” Other parties such as cargo loaders, truck manufacturers, mechanics, or even local government entities responsible for road maintenance might also share liability in certain cases.

Determining fault in a truck accident is not often as cut-and-dry as you’d think. In order to determine which party is truly at fault for the accident and any related injuries, in-depth investigation into driver logs, maintenance records, trucking company policies, and compliance with federal and state regulations must be conducted. For example, drivers and companies are bound by Hours of Service regulations enforced by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which dictate how long a driver can operate without rest. Violations of these regulations could be a critical element of liability in a truck accident case.

The Role of Commercial Truck Insurance Companies

Insurance policies for commercial trucks are characteristically more complex and carry higher liability coverage limits than personal automobile insurance, as they must account for the higher potential for damage and injury. This means that when a truck accident occurs, there’s often a higher policy coverage to pay for expenses related to the accident.

Injury victims involved in truck accidents often face an uphill battle when dealing with these commercial insurance companies. The insurance company may do everything in their power to diminish the value of your claim. For example, they may rapidly dispatch teams to the accident scene in an effort to influence the outcome of investigations, attempt to secure a recorded statement that diminishes your claim value, or offer lowball settlements to the injury victim.

The Physical and Emotional Impact of Truck Accidents

The aftermath of a truck accident can be devastating. The injuries sustained in these accidents are frequently severe or even life-threatening, including traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), spinal cord injuries, burns, amputations, or even death. The considerable recovery time and devastating effects not only impacts the physical health, but also the quality of life and financial stability of those involved.

Those involved in a trucking accident may suffer from short or long term emotional distress as a result of the accident including, but not limited to:

  • Anxiety
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Depression
  • Pain and suffering

If a loved one is wrongfully killed in an accident involving a truck, the deceased’s estate may file for loss of companionship. 

Navigating the Legal Process After A Truck Accident

When involved in a truck accident, time is of considerable importance. Preserving evidence such as skid marks, vehicle debris, and electronic data from onboard systems is paramount for building a strong case. This is where having experienced legal counsel becomes indispensable. A qualified attorney has the resources to quickly assemble an expert team that can include accident reconstructionists, mechanical engineers, medical professionals, and economic damage experts to accurately assess the full impact of the accident.

Further complicating these cases, truck accidents often cross state lines, which can add a layer of complexity in determining which state’s laws govern the accident and where to file a lawsuit. A knowledgeable attorney can assist in navigating this complex jurisdictional web to ensure that all filings are appropriately handled.

Why Expert Legal Help Matters

Given the complexities surrounding liability, regulations, insurance coverage, and the multi-jurisdictional nature of some truck accidents, it’s clear why many truck accident victims seek the help of a personal injury attorney. 

Working with a personal injury attorney who has extensive experience working in truck accidents can be a valuable asset when filing a claim for compensation. Once retained, your attorney will act as your representative by conducting an investigation into your accident, filing necessary paperwork with the insurance company so you can receive benefits, and negotiating a fair settlement on your behalf. 

Contact Cellino Law

If you or a loved one have been the victim of a truck accident, it’s important to act quickly to ensure your rights are protected. At Cellino Law, we understand the complex dynamics of truck accidents and have the experience necessary to withstand the pressure from insurance companies and large trucking corporations. 

With a proven track record of fighting for the rights of accident victims, and over $2 Billion recovered over the course of our careers, Cellino Law is dedicated to providing our clients with effective legal representation. For a free case consultation, contact Cellino Law at (888)-888-8888.

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Content checked by the personal injury attorney Ross Cellino. As a family man and a trial attorney, I pride myself on winning cases and serving the community. With over 35 years of experience, I understand the function of a jury, how juries arrive at conclusions, and the role that the jury plays in administering justice. I know how to win cases. You can find us in Manhattan, Buffalo, Melville, Rochester, Brooklyn, The Bronx, Queens and other locations throughout New York.

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