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Philadelphia Med Mal & Birth Injury Lawyer / Blog / Truck Accidents / How Trucking Accidents Differ from Car Accidents

How Trucking Accidents Differ from Car Accidents


Trucking accidents are significantly different from standard car accidents in several key areas, including the severity of injuries, legal complexities, and the regulations governing them. Understanding these differences is crucial for anyone involved in a trucking accident or those seeking to understand the potential impact of such an accident.

The sheer size and weight of commercial trucks mean that accidents involving these vehicles are more likely to result in severe injuries or fatalities. Trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds when fully loaded, vastly outweighing a typical passenger vehicle, which averages around 3,000 to 4,000 pounds. This size disparity can lead to catastrophic injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and severe internal damage, which are less common in accidents involving only passenger vehicles.

Legal Complexities

In trucking accidents, liability can extend beyond the truck driver. Potential liable parties include the trucking company, the vehicle manufacturer, cargo loaders, and maintenance providers. Each entity’s role and responsibility must be carefully examined to determine fault.

Furthermore, trucking companies and their operations are heavily regulated by both federal and state laws, including regulations from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). These regulations cover aspects such as driver working hours, vehicle maintenance, and load securing. Violations of these regulations can be a crucial factor in establishing liability.

Commercial trucks are required to carry much higher insurance coverage due to the potential for significant damage and injuries. This often means dealing with corporate insurers and navigating complex claims processes.

Differences in Accident Investigation

Investigating a trucking accident is typically more complex than a car accident. It often requires analyzing logbooks, electronic logging devices (ELD), and other records to assess compliance with regulations on service hours and maintenance. Additionally, the physical examination of the accident scene can be more demanding due to the larger scale of damage and debris.

Trucking accidents can be caused by a variety of factors that are less prevalent in other types of vehicle accidents:

  • Driver Fatigue: Despite strict regulations on driving hours, fatigue remains a common cause of trucking accidents due to the long hours spent on the road.
  • Equipment Failure: Given the complexity and heavy usage of commercial trucks, equipment failures such as brake malfunctions or tire blowouts can be more frequent and impactful.
  • Improper Loading: The way cargo is loaded can significantly affect the stability and safety of a truck. Improper loading practices can lead to accidents if the cargo shifts or falls off.

Enhanced Impact on Traffic and Infrastructure

The impact of trucking accidents on traffic is typically more severe, often leading to lengthy road closures due to the size of the vehicles and the complexity of the cleanup required. These accidents can also cause more significant damage to road infrastructure.

Trucking accidents pose unique challenges and risks compared to car accidents. The increased severity of injuries, complex legal and regulatory landscape, and the intricate nature of accident investigations require a specialized approach. Anyone involved in a trucking accident should seek experienced legal representation to navigate these complexities effectively.

Contact The Villari Law Firm

If you are involved in a trucking accident, The Villari Law Firm has the expertise and resources to help. Our experienced team understands the nuances of trucking accident cases and is dedicated to ensuring you receive the compensation and support you need to recover. Contact us today for a consultation to discuss your case and learn more about how we can assist you.



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