Any collision can potentially cause challenges for those involved. Sometimes, people will have to find alternate means of transportation if a crash disables their vehicle. Other times, they may need to head to a medical facility for care because of their injuries. When one of the vehicles involved in a collision is a commercial truck, the consequences are often more severe.
There are certain factors that tend to set semi-truck collisions with passenger vehicles apart from crashes that only involve passenger vehicles. What elements make these collisions so different?
The extent of the damage
The major size difference between commercial trucks and passenger vehicles contributes to the overall severity of such collisions. The smaller vehicle may suffer severe damage, where while the bigger truck may only have a few cosmetic blemishes to show for the crash. Not only is the property damage more extreme, but the injuries to the occupants of the vehicle can also be far more severe than in crashes involving vehicles of similar sizes that occur at the same speed.
The insurance claims process
Large trucks have to carry insurance based on federal regulations rather than state statutes. That means the average semi-truck will need at least $750,000 in liability coverage, which is many times more than the coverage available after a crash caused by a smaller vehicle. Better coverage may mean more thorough compensation, but it frequently also means more challenges when attempting to negotiate a settlement.
More variables for liability and fault
With rare exceptions, responsibility for the crashes that occur between two passenger vehicles will lie with one of the drivers involved. There are numerous other parties who might have some degree of responsibility for a semi-truck collision, including employers, maintenance professionals and even clients. It can therefore take longer to investigate crashes between commercial and passenger vehicles and longer to resolve the claims that they produce as well.
Navigating the aftermath of a semi-truck collision can prove incredibly challenging, especially for those coping with injuries and worried about their finances. As a result, seeking legal guidance is generally a very good idea.