How are truck accidents different from car accidents? The two main differences concern force of impact and legal liability. A fully loaded semi-truck can weigh more than 80,000 pounds, whereas the average automobile weighs about 5,000 pounds. Consequently, truck accidents differ from car accident cases in the severity of damages they cause.
The other significant difference concerns the number of people legally responsible for a truck accident. In a passenger vehicle accident, the responsible parties are generally limited to the drivers. However, in a truck accident case, they may include other individuals and entities associated with the semi-truck.
Why Do Truck Accidents Tend To Cause More Severe Damages?
Passenger vehicle accidents are more common in the United States because there are many more passenger vehicles on the roadways than semi-trucks. However, semi-trucks tend to cause more severe personal injuries and property damage because of their height, length, and weight.
As a result of the greater risk of injury, semi-truck drivers tend to carry more insurance than the typical automobile driver. More insurance leads to more legal professionals defending the truck driver and limiting the company’s exposure. These legal professionals are not looking out for your best interests, and you do not want to face them alone.
What Compensation Is Available in Truck Accident Claims?
The available compensation in truck accident claims includes economic and noneconomic damages. While every case is unique, generally, you will be able to seek compensation for the following damages:
· Current and future medical bills
· Lost earnings
· Lost opportunities
· Loss of companionship
· Pain and suffering
In some instances, additional damages may be available.
Who Is Responsible for Damages in a Truck Accident?
Unlike a typical car accident, where liability is usually limited to the drivers, a truck accident may involve multiple liable parties. While each case is unique, the parties that may be liable in a truck accident case include the following individuals and entities:
· The driver
· The trucking company that employs the driver
· The owner of the truck
· Cargo bay loaders
· Maintenance providers
How are truck accidents different from car accidents? One answer is that they are more complex because they involve a larger pool of potentially responsible parties.
Steps To Take After a Truck Accident in Indiana
The steps to take after a truck accident mimic the steps to take after any car accident. Doing the following will help protect your interests:
· Call 911
· Seek medical attention immediately if needed
· Photograph the scene from several angles
· Exchange information with the other drivers involved
· Take statements and contact information from available witnesses
· File a police report and maintain a copy
· Do not admit fault
· Do not make a statement indicating you are uninjured
· Notify your insurance company
If you do not seek immediate medical attention, do so after completing the previous steps. You should not diagnose yourself. Moreover, some injuries do not reveal themselves for days or weeks after the accident.
How Much Time Is Available To File a Lawsuit After a Truck Accident?
In Indiana, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. Certain exceptions may apply to extend the time you have to file, but they are rare.
How are truck accidents different from car accidents? The two differ in severity, the amount of insurance available, and the responsible parties. Contact an experienced truck accident lawyer at Stewart & Stewart Attorneys if you sustained an injury in a truck accident. Your initial consultation is free; and there is no fee unless we win. Call us at (317) 537-9616.