Difference Between a Car Accident and a Semi-Truck Accident

By  //  December 28, 2021

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Without a doubt, the most obvious difference between car accidents and semi-truck accidents is that the impact is generally much more severe with a semi-truck due to the weight and size of the truck. Unfortunately, semi-truck accidents often lead to deadly disasters.

Accidents in which passenger vehicles engage with semi-trucks are inherently dangerous for those in the passenger vehicle. An even greater risk of semi-truck and passenger vehicle collisions is underrides and overrides truck accidents. Studies have shown that a significant percentage of passenger car and truck accidents are either override or underride truck accidents.

If you or your loved one has been involved in a collision with a semi-truck, Skilled car accident lawyers can help determine if you are eligible for compensation for your injuries. Here is some brief information about override and underride accidents and the differences between a car accident and a semi-truck accident. 

Override and Underride Truck Accidents: What are they, and how do they happen?

Underride and override semi-truck collisions happen when a large truck either rides over the back of the passenger vehicle or when a passenger vehicle rides under the back of the semi-truck. The size difference between passenger vehicles and semi-trucks makes these types of collisions extremely dangerous because a semi-truck can very easily crush the smaller automobile, which often leads to severe injuries or fatalities. 

 Override truck accidents-An override accident generally happens when the semi driver isn’t able to stop soon enough and runs over the smaller vehicle that is in front of them. This type of accident often happens as the result of a mechanical failure or negligence on behalf of the truck driver. Events that often lead to overriding accidents may include the trucker following a passenger vehicle too closely, poor visibility due to fog, snow, or rain, the semi driver failing to yield to traffic with the right of way, brake failure, a tire blowout, the passenger vehicle stopped suddenly, or the truck driver is speeding and unable to stop quickly enough.

 Underride accidents-These types of accidents happen when a passenger vehicle goes under the trailer of a semi-truck. Underride accidents may happen if the passenger vehicle is following the truck too closely or if poor visibility makes it difficult to see the trailer. In some cases, negligence of the trucker may cause an underride crash. For instance, the truck/trailer doesn’t have tail lights or brake lights; the truck driver backs up without looking for other vehicles, the truck driver parks on the shoulder without proper lights, the trailer is missing the underride guards, the truck driver changes lanes without signaling or the trailer is missing the required reflective tape. 

Main Differences Between Car Accidents and Truck Accidents

Commercial semi-trucks that are traveling down the roadways are generally interstate deliveries, which means the drivers and the trucking companies are required to register with the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) and the DOT (Department of Transportation).

Due to the interstate nature of their employment, trucking companies are governed by hundreds more regulations than a standard passenger vehicle. These regulations generally include special driver’s licenses, routine truck maintenance, annual inspections, special qualifications, and logbooks.

This unique increase in regulations makes it more likely that the injured parties are eligible for compensation when involved in truck-car accidents; however, truck accidents are also more difficult and complicated when it comes to determining liability and cause of the accident. Along with regulations, other differences between car accidents and truck accidents may include:

More Severe Injuries

One of the most devastating differences between car accidents and truck accidents is the injuries a truck accident can cause. When there is an 80,000-pound truck going against a 3,000-pound passenger vehicle, the results can be devastating.

For this reason, the injuries from truck accidents are generally more severe than those from a passenger vehicle colliding with another passenger vehicle. Passenger vehicle injuries may range from back injuries, whiplash, traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, and possibly death. These types of injuries can be life-changing for the injured party. 

Extensive Property Damage

A semi-truck hauling a full trailer may weigh as much as 80,000 pounds. This significant amount of weight in the combination of the size of the truck can cause serious damage to anything that comes within its path. Because of the weight and size of the truck, it often results in costly and significant property damage to the passenger vehicle as well as anything else in the vicinity.

Extensive and Expensive Medical Bills

Since the injuries sustained in a truck accident are generally more severe than a passenger vehicle accident, it’s obvious that the medical bills associated with the injuries are typically much more expensive. Traumatic injuries are a significant possibility in truck accidents, which means more tests and diagnoses, longer periods of recovery, longer hospital stays, and often times lifelong injuries and disabilities.

This all means longer periods of lost work, which can have a significant effect on the victim’s finances. When you are unable to work due to your injuries, it, unfortunately, also means you aren’t receiving an income. The cost of your current, as well as future medical bills, must be considered when determining the compensation. An experienced personal injury attorney can assist you with determining a suitable compensation for your injuries. 

Increased Risk of Death

Studies have shown that truck-involved accidents are responsible for approximately 3000-5000 deaths per year. Semi-truck accidents are generally more likely to cause a death than a collision involving two passenger automobiles. If your loved one has been killed in a semi-truck accident, it’s essential that you consult with a personal injury lawyer before you file a claim of any type.

The death of a loved one is difficult enough, but the financial burden that accompanies the death can be devastating and overwhelming.

The bottom line is those semi-truck accidents are much more complicated and far more complex than passenger vehicle accidents. The likelihood of serious injuries or death combined with federal regulations and insurance policies often result in an intense legal battle that requires the help of an experienced attorney.