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How are Truck Accidents Different from Car Accidents?

Any serious vehicular accident can be a stressful experience, but accidents involving large trucks can be especially traumatic. Here are some of the key differences between truck accidents and car accidents.

First and most obvious, trucks are bigger and weigh more, which means that when they are involved in an accident, they will always cause more damage than a passenger car would in the same type of accident. In most situations the injuries sustained after a truck accident are more severe, or catastrophic, and may be permanent or long-lasting. Also, truck accidents frequently involve multiple parties, which makes resolving your claim for compensation more complicated. Talking with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney as soon as possible after a truck accident is always a smart idea. And it is something that you can do to protect your family and give them peace of mind from financial worry.

Trucks have certain characteristics that place them at a higher risk for being in an accident, just because of the way they are designed. Here are the most notable.

Lack of Visibility

The size of a large truck reduces the driver’s visibility of the road and other vehicles, causing it to be a leading cause of truck accidents. This is especially relevant in wide turn accidents. Maneuvering a large vehicle in any type of traffic takes skill, practice, and an ability to correctly gauge space and distance. Underestimating the amount of space needed to make a turn may result in property damage but traveling too fast when making a wide turn can cause the truck to tip, the wheels to lose full contact with the road, resulting in the driver losing control of the vehicle.

Trucks also have much larger blind spots where the driver cannot see if a person, another vehicle, or object is next to the truck. If the truck driver does not see the other car and its passengers, he can easily crush the small, lighter vehicle when making a turn or changing lanes, or he can force the car off the road, resulting in extreme damages and injuries.


Stopping Power

Everyone knows that it takes more time and distance for a truck to stop than a car traveling at the same speed. For example, a truck going 5mph on dry pavement will take 2-3 seconds longer to stop than a passenger car. Therefore, the truck would travel an additional 125 feet before they are able to stop. Considering that the average length of a 4-lane intersection is approximately 50 feet, that truck would easily travel at least the length of two intersections further than a passenger car. The speed of the truck at the time of impact would be much greater than the speed of a car, and when a heavier object traveling faster strikes a smaller, slower object, the damage can be catastrophic.

This is especially relevant in head-on collisions and intersection accidents. A head-on collision is when two vehicles are traveling in a straight path towards each other and collide. The results can be devastating, with severe or catastrophic injuries, fatalities, and massive property damage.

Intersection accidents often result in a T-bone impact and may be caused by drivers failing to follow the traffic laws that protect other drivers and pedestrians. When a large truck is involved in this type of collision, the struck car can get thrown into other vehicles, causing multi-car accidents, or into other objects, or pedestrians. If a truck driver speeds up to make it through an intersection or run a red light, the inability to stop quickly can have traumatic consequences. The driver is most certainly negligent in this situation, and their behavior could easily be gross negligent. If you have been involved in this type of accident, you should contact us today to review if you have a claim for gross negligence.

Injury Severity

The other key difference between truck accidents and car accidents is the severity of injuries to those involved. Any car accident has the potential to cause serious injuries, however, injuries sustained from a truck accident may be categorized as catastrophic.

Catastrophic injuries include:

  • spinal cord injuries
  • traumatic brain injuries
  • loss of a limb
  • severe burn injuries
  • disfigurement and significant scarring
  • long-term or permanent disability that significantly disrupts the life and the ability to work, and
  • any requiring intensive medical treatment and/or long-term care.

Quick Facts About Truck Accident Fatalities

  • A total of 4,965 people died in large-truck crashes in 2020
  • The number of deaths did decreased 1% from 2019
  • However, overall, it has increased 31% since 2011

The majority of deaths in truck accidents are:

o Occupants of the other vehicle – 71%

o Occupants of the truck – 17%

o Non-occupants (e.g., pedestrians, cyclist) – 12%

Speak with an Attorney

Having a knowledgeable, trusted personal injury attorney working for you can make the difference in ensuring you get full compensation for your injuries and damages. Your attorney will know where to find the evidence you need to support your claim.

At Battaglia, Ross, Dicus & McQuaid, P.A., we listen to you and want to hear your story!

When you contact us, we will take the time to get to know you and understand all the ways your life has been affected by your accident. We pride ourselves on being empathetic, compassionate, and caring. This is just one of the reasons we are Florida’s top-rated personal injury attorneys – providing personalized legal advice addressed to meet your individual needs.

From the first call, you will know that we will be there with you, helping you to navigate through what can be a complex, difficult, and emotionally challenging time. We strive to provide you with all the information and resources you need. We are dedicated to making your life easier. From start to finish, we will promptly answer all your questions and provide the best legal advice, so you can make informed decisions about your future.

We build trust through open, timely communication, and straightforward legal advice. We are an award-winning, established personal injury law firm, fighting for our clients for over 60 years, and have recovered more than $145 million in awards. Contact us today and we will fight to get the results you deserve.

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