Trucking Accidents vs. Car Accidents: What’s the Difference?
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Trucking Accidents vs. Car Accidents: What’s the Difference?

Any vehicle accident has the potential for devastation, but there is a difference between an accident involving larger trucks and accidents involving only smaller passenger vehicles. Here, we want to delve into the differences between truck accidents and car accidents that occur in Florida, and we also want to discuss the need to have an attorney by your side in certain situations.

The Size and Weight Difference

A large commercial truck can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds when fully loaded with cargo and reach lengths of 75 feet (or more, depending on special permits). When we compare this with the average weight of a passenger vehicle (4,200 pounds), we can see the potential for devastation when an accident occurs involving a larger commercial truck.

Because of this size and weight difference, even relatively “minor” accidents involving commercial trucks can result in significant injuries and property damage for those inside smaller vehicles. This is particularly true for those inside particularly small passenger cars, ones that weigh much less than pickup trucks and SUVs.

More Severe Injuries in Truck Accidents

We want to be clear that any type of vehicle accident can lead to serious injuries. However, accidents involving larger commercial trucks are more likely to result in catastrophic injuries. Some of the types of injuries that are more likely to occur in an accident involving a larger truck than in incidents involving only smaller vehicles include the following:

  • Spinal cord trauma with paralysis
  • Crush injuries or amputations
  • Internal trauma or bleeding
  • Severe traumatic brain injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Significant scarring and disfigurement

More Parties Involved

Vehicle accident claims are complicated, and this is particularly true with cases involving commercial trucks. When a commercial truck driver is involved in an accident, they may be at fault for the incident, but there are also other parties who could hold liability. For example, the trucking carrier or a cargo loading company could be at fault, as could the truck manufacturer or the manufacturer of the individual parts used on the truck.

One thing is certain – there will be additional insurance carriers and legal teams involved when a crash with a large truck occurs.

The Evidence is Different

When a traditional vehicle accident is investigated, the usual types of evidence will be used to prove liability. This includes the police report, statements from eyewitnesses, photographs taken at the scene, and maybe some surveillance footage. However, additional types of evidence will be needed after a crash with a commercial truck. This includes data from the truck’s event data recorder (EDR) as well as information from the driver’s electronic logging device (ELD).

Large commercial trucks are strictly regulated at both the state and federal levels, so information related to required inspections and hours of service will also be needed when working to determine liability.

Working With an Attorney

If you or somebody you care about has been involved in an accident involving a commercial truck, or if you have been involved in an accident involving only traditional vehicles, we encourage you to reach out to a Port St. Lucie car accident attorney for help. The no-fault insurance laws in Florida can complicate the compensation recovery process, but you may be able to file a claim or lawsuit against another party in order to recover additional types of compensation.