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Car Accidents & Truck Accidents: What's the Difference?


After a car accident, you probably already know that you need to get the insurance information and identification of the driver that hit you. You might also have a general idea that you are going to be dealing with their insurance company more than the actual driver. Yes, for the most part, people have the general idea of what to do about a car accident and how a car accident claim is handled.

But what about truck accidents? At a cursory glance, they can seem very similar to the typical traffic collision – they usually occur on highways or at intersections, a driver’s negligence is likely the cause, etc. – but looking deeper reveals a few crucial differences. If you want to maximize your chances of getting full compensation for your injuries and damages, you are going to need to understand those dissimilarities in better detail.

Liability is Not Straightforward

The liability in a commercial truck accident could, in certain circumstances, not even fall upon the truck driver. This strange outcome can be caused by the fact that numerous hands and entities control a single commercial truck. Each one of those interested parties could potentially do something wrong that leads to an accident, and therefore take some of the liability.

For example, a trucking company’s management staff might schedule drivers to work excessive hours, over the legal limits created by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Not wanting to lose their job, the trucker continues working but falls asleep at the wheel. In such a scenario, the better part of the liability could be on the trucking company.

In another example, imagine that load crews stacked too much freight on one side of the trailer. While it was being loaded, maintenance crews failed to notice serious defects with the axle and steering systems. While on the highway, the trucker loses control of the vehicle, it tips over, and injures another motorist. Once again, some, most or all of the liability could be taken off the person who was actually driving the truck.

Investigations are Complicated

Trucking companies often keep a team of investigators and attorneys on speed-dial so they can get eyes on the scene of a trucking accident as soon as possible. By the time the injured driver gets help to review the crash site, their opposition will already have an advantage. But beyond trucking companies starting investigations early, the evidence reviewed in them is also more complex than a car accident.

Specific bits of evidence that could be helpful in a truck accident investigation include:

  • Trucker’s employment & training skills
  • Maintenance record of the truck
  • Electronic on-board recorder (EOBR) data
  • Trucking company’s safety history

Gain Your Own Advantage with a Lawyer’s Help

What trucking companies do not expect, or want, is for you to team up right away with a professional Wichita truck accident attorney. At Hutton & Hutton Law Firm, LLC, we are always excited to be able to help clients through such difficult times and against the odds, for legal challenges are the best kind of success stories. Throughout our years of practice, we have secured more than $400 million for clients through verdicts and settlements. We think your case deserves that caliber of service – don’t you?

Call (316) 688-1166 today, schedule a free consultation, and ask about our “no win, no fee” policy!