Getting Results For Injury Victims Since 1980

3 factors that make semi-truck wrecks different from other wrecks

On Behalf of | Mar 17, 2024 | Personal Injury

Drivers typically aspire to avoid any type of collision. A crash at any speed means inconvenience and likely damage to a vehicle. More severe collisions can also produce injuries that put people in the hospital and potentially affect their ability to work.

Certain elements of a collision can increase the likelihood of a poor outcome for the people involved. Collisions that involve high rates of speed often have worse outcomes than lower-speed crashes. Crashes that involve a large commercial vehicle colliding with a passenger vehicle can also be significantly different than a crash involving two vehicles of similar sizes.

The extent of the damage caused

Speed, the angle of approach and many other factors determine the severity of the damage caused in a motor vehicle collision. However, the difference in the size and weight of the vehicles is also a major element. A crash involving a semi-truck could cause major damage and serious injuries even at relatively low speeds. Commercial trucks are sometimes responsible for multi-vehicle collisions or extreme crashes, such as underride collisions where a passenger vehicle ends up underneath a commercial vehicle.

The amount of insurance available

The potential damages a semi-truck could cause are a well-known concern. Therefore, instead of Hawaii state law determining insurance requirements, as is the case for passenger vehicles, semi-trucks are subject to federal regulations. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) imposes a higher liability insurance requirement for commercial trucks that way at least 10,001 pounds. A semi-truck should have $750,000 worth of liability insurance or possibly even more than that. More insurance coverage means better compensation in some cases. The downside of more robust insurance coverage is the possibility of a more contentious insurance claims process.

Challenges establishing liability

The final major difference between a passenger vehicle crash and a semi-truck collision is the allocation of liability. Most collisions involving two passenger vehicles involve very straightforward liability matters. The driver of one of the vehicles is almost always the party liable for the consequences of the wreck. However, that may be different in scenarios involving commercial collisions. An employer could be to blame for the crash in many cases due to liability rules. Outside companies might also be to blame if the crash occurred due to vehicle maintenance issues, product defects or the improper loading of a trailer.

The average person may – very understandably – have a difficult time navigating the aftermath of a semi-truck collision. Seeking proper guidance and information about individual rights can make a major difference for those affected by a collision caused by a commercial truck.