Commercial trucks aren’t simply passenger vehicles with a business sign adhered to the door; commercial trucks are extremely heavy vehicles such as box trucks, delivery trucks, cement trucks, and semi-trucks. Because the commercial trucks are so much larger than passenger vehicles and may carry hazardous goods, these truck drivers adhere to stricter standards (such as obtaining a commercial driver’s license). Despite the higher standards and the commercial license, accidents do happen. If you or a family member suffered injuries due to a commercial truck accident, you may have questions about the case and whether you are entitled to compensation.
Why do accidents with commercial trucks cause more injuries than an accident with another passenger car?
A collision between a passenger car and a commercial truck commonly results in more injuries simply because of the size of the truck itself. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, commercial trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. Depending on the exact type of car, passenger cars have an average weight of approximately 3000 pounds – a stark difference from the heft of a commercial truck! If a commercial truck and a passenger vehicle collide, the laws of physics dictate that the bigger vehicle will inflict more damage to the smaller vehicle.
What are the dangers of driving too close to a semi?
Accidents can happen when individuals drive too close to a semi.
- Acceleration and braking limitations: If a smaller vehicle is cut off, it can decelerate somewhat quickly to avoid an accident. On the other hand, a commercial truck hauling a heavy load will take much longer to slow down. This means that the acceleration and braking limitations of a heavy truck can contribute to the frequency of accidents.
- Blind spots: A large truck has many blind spots including the left rear, right rear, and space directly behind the truck.
My sedan was hit by a semi-truck, and I am out of work while my injuries heal. Can I be compensated for not being able to work?
Yes, it’s very likely. You may be eligible for payment of lost wages in addition to damages for medical bills and pain and suffering. Additionally, you may be compensated for the loss of earning capacity.
If I am injured in a collision, can I also sue the trucking company that employs the truck, driver?
First, it must be determined if the truck driver is an employee of the company or an independent contractor. If the truck driver is an independent contractor, it is more difficult to prove the liability of the trucking company. However, if the truck driver is an employee of the company, the company may be liable under the doctrine of respondeat superior. This doctrine states that the employee can be held responsible for the actions of the employee (truck driver).
I was involved in a collision with a truck hauling toxic chemicals, and I received severe burns. Can I sue the company that ships the chemicals too?
In short, it depends. Because manufacturers are required to share any warnings about a product, the shipper may only be liable if there was a lack of appropriate warning about the hazardous nature of the cargo load.
The next step
Do you have more questions about your truck accident? Are your injuries taking time away from your job, family, and hobbies? An experienced truck accident lawyer from The Elan Law Firm will ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. Contact The Elan Law Firm today for a free consultation.