Truck Accidents vs. Car Accidents

Car after a collision with a heavy truck

Accidents involving semi-tractors, tractor-trailers, eighteen-wheelers, and other large trucks are not the same as accidents involving passenger cars. There are many key differences between the two, and recovering compensation after a large truck crash requires an understanding of those differences regarding evidence, facts, and the applicable law. Continue reading for a discussion of several of the differences between car and truck crashes, and call a knowledgeable Bronx car accident attorney at the Kohn Law Firm for advice and assistance after a New York truck or car accident.

Truck Accidents are More Likely to Be Catastrophic

Large trucks are massive vehicles, multiple times the size of a passenger car. When an accident involves a semi or eighteen-wheeler, a catastrophic injury is much more likely to occur. The truck beds can take over multiple lanes of traffic when the driver loses control, debris and even hazardous material may spill out, and the sheer size of the vehicle alone vastly increases the danger. When large trucks crash into smaller vehicles, drivers and passengers of those other vehicles are significantly more likely to suffer a serious or fatal injury.

Additional Regulations Apply to Truck Drivers

Long-haul truck drivers have a tough gig. They face long, monotonous, punishing hours behind the wheel. Extended drives lead to fatigue and inattention, which can in turn lead to self-medicating with drugs and alcohol. Federal traffic safety regulations aim to curb the dangers of long-haul trucking by setting limits on how long truckers can operate.

Known as “hours of service” regulations, these rules limit truck drivers to a set number of hours per shift, per day, and per week in between required periods of rest. Commercial trucks are also subject to regulations concerning maintenance and upkeep, as well as the presence of appropriate safety features.

Drivers and freight companies that flout these rules put everyone else on the road at risk of a catastrophic truck crash. When investigating the circumstances of a truck accident, regulatory violations serve as strong evidence of negligence on the part of the drivers and their employers. It’s important to get an attorney who understands these regulations and knows how to find relevant evidence when presenting your truck accident injury claims.

Additional Parties Involved in Truck Accidents

From a legal standpoint, a standard car accident in New York is relatively straightforward: If there’s no serious injury, each party files a claim with their no-fault personal injury protection insurance carrier. If someone suffered a serious injury, they may have a claim for liability against the at-fault driver. The relevant parties are usually limited to the drivers, passengers, and other parties injured in the crash.

Commercial truck accidents raise additional complications when it comes to apportioning liability. As we stated, serious injury is more likely to occur in large truck crashes, which means bringing claims of liability. Finding the right party to hold liable in a truck wreck can be more complex than in a typical car crash. Truckers are usually employed by freight companies or other corporations. Through a legal doctrine known as “respondeat superior,” employers can be held liable for the actions of an employee taken in the course of duty. That means that if you were hit by a negligent commercial truck driver while they were on the job, you can hold their employer liable for your injuries and other damages.

Truck accidents may also involve a number of other responsible parties. The manufacturer of a defective truck part, the client or third-party contractor that loaded the truck improperly, or any other party involved in the course of business whose actions contributed to the accident may be liable. Recovering full compensation after a large truck accident requires conducting a thorough investigation of the circumstances that led to the accident, understanding all the parties that may be held liable, and gathering the evidence necessary to hold those parties liable.

Call a Trusted Bronx Truck Crash Attorney Today

If you or someone you care about has been hurt in a New York City traffic accident, find out if you’re entitled to monetary damages for your injuries by contacting the thorough and effective New York car accident lawyers at the Bronx offices of the Kohn Law Firm for a free consultation at 718-409-1200.

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