How Accidents Involving Large Trucks Differ From Other Automobile Accidents

Tue Jan 31st, 2023 on     Insurance Claims,    

Being involved in any type of automobile accident can be scary and take its toll on you physically, mentally, and financially. Determining damages and fault, as well as filing a claim to recover for the damages owed, can be an exhaustive and time-consuming process. When your accident is with a large truck, the accident takes on a whole different aspect. An attorney from our Miami insurance law firm, Ver Ploeg & Marino, explains.

A Miami Insurance Law Firm Addresses Why Accidents Involving Large Trucks Tend To Be More Catastrophic

One of the ways that accidents involving large trucks differ from other accidents is that the damages sustained by the people and vehicles involved in these accidents tend to be more severe. The main reason for this is the size of the truck itself. 

Size Of The Truck

The size of the truck is the driving force behind why trucking accidents tend to be more catastrophic. A fully loaded tractor trailer can weigh up to 80,000 pounds while the average weight of a car is around 4,000 pounds. That means a large truck can feasibly weigh 20 times more than the vehicle with which it collides. Such a size disparity typically results in the other vehicle in the collision being crushed while the large truck may not sustain any real damage. 

The size of the truck also results in the truck taking a much longer amount of time to suddenly stop in an emergency situation. Because of this, even when a truck driver is aware a collision is imminent, they are often unable to stop the truck in time to prevent a crash. 

While all vehicles may have some blind spots, a large truck has many on all sides. Its size means that a truck driver cannot see what is going on around his vehicle including the presence of other drivers and motor vehicles.     

Larger Compensation Amounts

The more serious the injuries and the more extensive the property damage in any accident, the higher the compensation amounts can be. In accidents involving large trucks, it is not uncommon for there to be multiple vehicles and victims involved in the accident meaning that the total amount of compensation paid will be extensive. Compensation amounts can include:

  • Current and Future Medical Expenses
  • Current and Future Lost Wages
  • Scarring and Disfigurement
  • Pain and Suffering
  • Loss of Consortium

Who the responsible parties are in an accident is an issue best addressed by an attorney at a Miami insurance law firm.

Injuries Sustained In Accidents Involving Large Trucks

There are a myriad of injuries that can be sustained in an accident involving a large truck. Some of the most common include:

  • Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs)
  • Spinal Cord Injuries
  • Internal Bleeding
  • Burn Injuries
  • Bone Fractures
  • Neck Injuries
  • Amputation Injuries

When a victim has experienced these types of injuries, an attorney from our Miami insurance law firm, Ver Ploeg & Marino, may be able to help them recover compensation.

Special Laws & Regulations For The Trucking Industry

Large trucks in Florida, as well as their owners and operators, are subject to rules, laws, and regulations that are not applicable to personal vehicles and their owners and operators. For example, drivers of most large trucks (those over 26 tons) are required to have a commercial driver’s license (CDL). To obtain a CDL, a driver must study for and pass a test that is more complicated and detailed than a normal driving test.  

Large trucks must be kept in good working order and are required to undergo testing to ensure they are compliant. Drivers in particular must check their rigs before they get behind the wheel. If any problem is found that could contribute to an accident or renders the vehicle unsafe, the driver must not drive the vehicle. 

Drivers must also be careful to avoid driving while fatigued. To prevent a driver from becoming overly tired, there are state uniform traffic control statutes regarding how much time a driver can drive before resting. For example, a driver must not drive for more than 12 hours following 10 consecutive hours off duty. 

Multiple Possible Responsible Parties

When large trucks are involved in accidents, there may be one or multiple parties responsible for the collision. Some of the most common are listed below. For questions about responsibility in a specific case, it is best to contact a Miami insurance law firm.

Truck Driver

Truck drivers are required to take the utmost precaution when behind the wheel. Driving while tired or intoxicated and engaging in distracted driving are all ways a truck driver can contribute to an accident. 

Employer of Truck Driver

The employer of the truck driver must ensure the vehicle is in good working order and that the driver is qualified and trained. Placing a damaged vehicle on the road and failing to train a driver are both ways the employer of a truck driver can fail in their duties and promote an accident. 

Maintenance Provider

Trucking companies often contract with a maintenance provider to keep their fleet of trucks legally compliant and roadworthy. When these providers fail to inspect the trucks, make necessary improvements to the truck, or fail to recognize when vehicles are in need of repair, they may be held responsible when an accident occurs. 

Party Responsible for Loading the Truck

Large trucks often transport heavy loads of cargo, and when this cargo is improperly loaded or placed on the truck, it can cause an accident. The weight of the cargo may not be evenly distributed or it may be loose and fly off while the truck is in motion. 

What is Considered to be a “Large Truck?”

There are many different types of trucks that fit into the “large truck” category. Some of the most common include:

  • Tractor-Trailer
  • Semi Truck
  • Commercial Bus
  • Tow Truck
  • Dump Truck
  • Commercial Minivan
  • Logging Truck
  • Garbage Truck
  • Tanker Truck
  • Concrete Truck

Whether or not a vehicle is considered a “large truck” is a matter best discussed with a lawyer from our Miami insurance law firm, Ver Ploeg & Marino. 

Speak With An Experienced Attorney at Our Miami Insurance Law Firm

If you have been injured in an accident with a large truck, or lost a loved one in an accident involving a large truck, there may be help available that you have not yet discovered. The best way to find out your options is to contact our Miami insurance law firm and schedule a consultation. We may be reached by calling 305-577-3996 or via our contact page.

Super Lawyers
Florida Legal Elite
Top Lawyer - South Florida Legal Guide
Association of Corporate Counsel - South Florida Chapter
Back to top