Differences Between 18-Wheeler and Car AccidentsLast updated on: February 1, 2021
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Roadway collisions of any type can inflict long-term hardship on the livelihood of a victim. There are many differences between car accident and 18-wheeler cases.
If you were involved in a roadway collision, you may be entitled to legal compensation. Different types of accidents may have varying requirements and outcomes.
If you have been injured in an 18-wheeler or car accident, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 for a free case evaluation with our personal injury attorneys.
18-Wheeler Accidents Have More Force Than Regular Car Accidents
When discussing the differences between 18-wheeler and standard car accidents, it is important to point out the most obvious and destructive one first. Typically, the damage from an 18-wheeler crash cases is significantly greater than in standard car accident cases.
Although not always true because every case is different, 18-wheeler accidents are much more likely to result in serious injuries than are accidents only involving smaller vehicles. Experts claim that this statistic is mainly due to the sizes of the vehicles involved. More specifically, 18-wheelers are up to 20 times larger than the average automobile, making them more dangerous when involved in roadway collisions. A fully loaded semi-truck can weigh more than 80,000 pounds, while the average car only weighs approximately 3,000 pounds. As a result, when a collision does occur, accidents involving 18-wheelers generally have more force, which may inflict more damage onto the other involved vehicles and drivers.
Read More: Common Types of 18-Wheeler Accident Injuries
Even if you do not drive an 18-wheeler, you may still be involved in a crash with one. In these situations, the physical damage to your vehicle and even the injury to your body may be exponentially greater. Thus, it is important that even layman drivers know about the differences between crashes involving 18-wheelers and those involving standard cars. Even though accidents involving 18-wheelers are typically more destructive, any roadway collision can inflict serious damage. If you have been involved in any kind of car accident, but especially those involving 18-wheelers, it may be beneficial to speak with an attorney with experience in automobile collision and injury cases to help you sort through these differences.
18-Wheeler Accidents Will Likely Yield More Damages Than Smaller Vehicle Accidents
The damages that a person may suffer in a trucking accident are likely to be higher than a person would sustain in a standard accident involving smaller vehicles. An 18-wheeler has the size, force, and weight necessary to inflict serious injury and damage onto a smaller vehicle and its driver. In addition to property damage, victims of an 18-wheeler accident may also sustain more severe bodily injuries, which may raise the overall cost of recovering from the accident.
If you were involved in a roadway collision, you may be entitled to economic or non-economic damages. Commonly sought damages in 18-wheeler or car accident collisions include the following:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Rehabilitation expenses
- Vehicle repair costs
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium
- Other property damage expenses
- Punitive damages
While this list is not exhaustive, it may serve as an important starting point for your calculations. Accidents involving 18-wheelers typically yield more damages than those only involving smaller vehicles. Due to the higher dollar amount involved, 18-wheeler cases may also require more research and analysis to protect the victim in the long run. 18-wheeler accidents may also involve more insurance coverage, which may allow victims of 18-wheeler crashes to recover higher amounts. Calculating damages in any roadway accident can be a daunting task. An experienced accident attorney may be able to help you calculate these damages and get the highest compensation possible.
Read More: How Long Does It Take to Settle a Truck Accident Case?
18-Wheelers Have Stricter Regulations Than Regular Cars
18-wheelers may be a much greater danger on the roads than smaller vehicles. Due to this greater potential for damage, the federal government has implemented strict federal rules and regulations that apply to interstate trucking companies and their drivers. These federal rules involve limits on driver hours, nutrition consumption, and break times. Additionally, the federal government also imposes restrictions on what can be hauled across state lines. These restrictions have specific requirements for cargo weight, contents, and toxicity. Specifically, the Federal Motor Carrier laws place strict requirements on the inspection and documentation of 18-wheelers. The laws require inspection documents before and after every trip in an attempt to force vehicle owners to maintain their trucks. All truck drivers are required to carry these documents on hand in case of an accident. In addition to federal rules, many states have also implemented similar statutes for 18-wheelers that only operate within the state and its natural boundaries.
On the contrary, owners of smaller vehicles are subjected to less scrutiny. While many states do require drivers to get annual vehicle inspections and renew their licenses occasionally, but the regulations on standard vehicles are much less restrictive and harsh than the ones that currently monitor 18-wheelers and their movements.
These additional regulations that must be analyzed and interpreted are just one of the many differences between car accident and 18-wheeler cases. If you have been involved in an accident where you sustained injuries or damages, it may be beneficial to consult with an accident attorney who may be able to help you evaluate the applicable laws in your particular case.
Determining Fault May Be More Difficult in an 18-Wheeler Accident
Unfortunately, it is not always obvious as to who is at fault for a roadway accident. Determining who is responsible for the accident is a critical step for those who wish to seek legal redress for their damages. Liability laws and regulations for personal injury cases typically vary by jurisdiction. Although every state has different laws, many use similar frameworks.
In a regular car accident involving two standard vehicles, there are not many options for who could be potentially responsible, regardless of the type of jurisdiction where the accident occurred. Although there are some unusual cases, there are usually only two potentially at-fault parties in a standard car accident case: the drivers involved.
On the contrary, in an 18-wheeler accident, there are many parties involved who may have played a substantial role in the crash. For example, in an 18-wheeler crash, the truck driver, trucking company, shipping company, loading company, cargo manufacturer, or even the truck manufacturer may be responsible for the accident. Even if a company representative was not present for the accident itself, the company may still be held responsible if they did something beforehand that led to the driver losing control of the truck or its cargo. In these cases, a thorough investigation must be conducted by a professional to evaluate the facts of the case and determine who contributed to the crash. Due to all of these factors and the sheer complexity of the investigations that follow, determining fault in an 18-wheeler collision may be more difficult than doing so in a typical car accident. If you have been injured in one of these complicated 18-wheeler accidents, it may be helpful to contact an attorney who can help you determine and allocate fault appropriately.
Get Help from Zinda Law Group’s 18-Wheeler and Car Accident Lawyers
Roadway accidents in general can impose serious hardship on a victim. Although any car accident can be devastating, there are many differences between car accident and 18-wheeler cases. 18-wheeler cases tend to involve higher dollar amounts, more damages, complex regulations, and difficult legal analysis. However, standard car accidents can also involve extensive research and negotiation. Thus, if you have been involved in an accident with an 18-wheeler or another vehicle, you should contact a lawyer who handles personal injury cases as soon as possible. An experienced attorney may be able to help you evaluate your case and seek legal recourse for any damages related to the accident.
At Zinda Law Group, we have the knowledge and resources necessary to help you pursue the highest compensation possible. Zinda Law Group is capable of providing you with personalized and quality consultation regarding the specifics of your case. The sooner you contact our office, the higher the likelihood that we will be able to assist you.
If you or a loved one has sustained damages in an automobile accident, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 for a free consultation with one of our personal injury attorneys. You don’t owe us anything unless we win your case. That’s our No Win, No Fee Guarantee.