Truck Accidents vs Car Accidents: Unraveling the Differences


While any vehicle accident can be serious, truck accidents carry a unique set of complexities due to the sheer size of these vehicles and the potential for catastrophic damage. Given that tractor trailers can weigh up to 80,000 pounds compared to the average passenger car’s weight of less than 4,000 pounds, the aftermath of a truck accident can be devastating. In fact, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reported that in a single year, truck accidents led to 287,000 property damage claims, 77,000 injuries, and 4,321 deaths.

Understanding the Differences

Navigating the aftermath of a truck accident involves untangling many more questions than a typical car accident. This is due to several key differences:

Severity of Damage and Injuries

The size and weight disparity between trucks and passenger vehicles often results in severe damage and injuries. Victims may suffer from grave injuries like amputations, head and neck injuries, burns, fractures, traumatic brain injuries (TBI), and even death.

Complex Liability Chain

Liability in a truck accident can be complex, often involving multiple parties such as truck drivers, trucking companies, insurance companies, truck owners, truck and parts manufacturers, and cargo loaders. Each party's role needs to be thoroughly investigated to establish negligence and determine compensation.

Higher Insurance Policies

Trucking companies typically carry insurance policies worth millions of dollars. To protect their financial interests, insurance adjusters may fight your claim or offer a low settlement. It's crucial to consult with a skilled truck accident attorney before accepting any offer.

Strict Regulations

Truck drivers and trucking companies operate under specific safety standards and regulations governed by state, federal laws, and the transportation industry. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulation Act mandates driver background checks, periodic evaluations, driving hour limits, drug and alcohol testing, among others. Any violation of these regulations can form the basis for establishing liability.

If you’ve been involved in a truck accident, it’s vital to have an experienced legal team on your side, like Horst & Humphrey, who understand the severity and intricacies of your case. With the right support, you can navigate the complex process and fight for the compensation you deserve. Remember, the aftermath of a truck accident is not just another car accident; it’s a different beast altogether.