Sunday, November 15, 2015

How Is a Truck Accident Different From a Car Accident?

St. Petersburg Accident Comparison:  Car vs. Truck
At first glance, a car accident and a truck accident might not seem so different. Sure, a commercial truck is much larger and more powerful than a passenger vehicle, but generally, the types of accidents in which they are involved are fairly similar. Collisions caused by speeding, distracted driving, and failure to observe the rules of the road are common causes of both car and truck accidents.1

But there are a few key differences to keep in mind about truck accidents. Although a truck can be involved in a collision for the same reasons as a car, there are a few types of accidents that can only happen involving large commercial trucks. Likewise, the difference in size between a truck and a passenger vehicle can mean a significantly greater impact in these collisions, causing much greater damage to the car's driver and passengers than the damage suffered in a collision between two cars.

Finally, seeking monetary compensation after a truck accident can be a slightly different process from seeking compensation after a car accident. Because truck drivers are professionals and often working when their accidents occur, a motorist or pedestrian injured in a truck accident must seek compensation from the driver's employer or motor carrier insurance, depending on whether he or she is an employee or an owner operator.

If the prospect of seeking monetary compensation after you are injured in a truck accident sounds confusing to you, seek legal guidance from an experienced truck accident attorney. Truck accident claims, like all other types of personal injury claims, can be complicated. Make yours easier by working with an attorney who has handled this type of case in the past.

Accidents Unique to Trucks

Imagine a tractor trailer. The driver operates it from the tractor, the portion that contains the engine and the operator's cab, pulling the trailer, the portion where the cargo is held. These two halves of the truck are linked with a mechanism that allows the trailer to safely follow the tractor.

This mechanism can also be the cause of a dangerous type of accident known as jackknifing. When the tractor skids, the trailer can push from behind and spin away from the tractor, possibly turning in a complete circle. This can happen because of improper braking, equipment failure, or adverse road conditions. When this happens, the driver often loses control of the trailer and those sharing the road can be hit by it.

Truck drivers face certain difficulties that individuals driving cars do not face. Because of their size, tractor trailers require a much greater span of roadway to come to a complete stop after braking. This is why it is critical to give trucks adequate following distance.

Employee or Owner Operator?

Many truck drivers are not actually employees of the companies for which they are transporting goods, but owner operators who take driving jobs on a contractual basis. These drivers are known as owner operators. As such, they own and insure their own trucks.

If you are involved in a collision involving a commercial truck, one of the most important piece of information to obtain is whether the driver is an employee or an owner operator. If he or she was an employee, you may seek monetary compensation through a claim with his or her employer. If the driver is an owner operator, you will have to file your claim with his or her motor carrier's insurance policy.2 In either case, you will need to prove that the driver's negligence was the cause of your accident and thus, your injury.

St. Petersburg Truck Accident Attorneys

If you have been injured in a collision with a tractor trailer that was caused by the truck driver's negligence or reckless behavior, you deserve to receive monetary compensation for your economic losses. After you have received a proper diagnosis and treatment for your injury, contact an experienced personal injury attorney to begin discussing your truck accident claim.

Contact the Dolman Law Group to schedule your initial legal consultation with our firm. We can answer any questions you have and provide you with the legal guidance and representation your case needs to be successful.  Call us today by calling our St. Petersburg office at (727) 222-6922.

Dolman Law Group
1663 1st Ave S.
St. Petersburg, FL 33712
(727) 222-6922