Being involved in a truck crash takes the complex nature of accident claims to a higher level. Trucks are subject to more regulations than common cars. Injuries in truck accidents are more severe and deaths are more common. What’s more, multiple parties can be held liable for damages that occur. An experienced Chicago truck accident attorney can explain why truck accident claims are more difficult.
Fatalities more common
The argument is often made that tractor-trailer drivers are safer because there are fewer big rig accidents than there are for standard passenger vehicles. The reality is, while these accidents may be fewer in number, the severity of damage is higher. This is best shown by comparing the number of fatalities. According to a 2013 report from the American Trucking Association, 1.0% of all truck crashes resulted in a fatality in 2009. In the same year, only 0.5% of car crashes led to death. Data from the same report shows the majority of deaths (76% in 2009) in truck-related accidents are to those outside the big rig.
Injuries are more severe
Big rigs are larger than typical passenger cars. Even with advanced safety features, the average sedan is no match for the mass of a large truck carrying a heavy load. An 18-wheeler is capable of causing more serious injuries and more property damage than an average sedan, as Chicago truck accident attorneys know all too well. NHTSA data shows 95,000 people were injured in truck accidents in 2013. Of those, 72% were in other vehicles.
Trucking is heavily regulated
Regular cars and non-commercial drivers are bound by regulations set by the authorities in their state. Commercial truckers and trucking companies, however, are regulated at the federal level. These vehicles and drivers are subjected to state and local legislation. The entire process from the initial truck accident, through investigation to settlement, has more oversight that a Chicago truck accident attorney can readily navigate.
More parties are fighting for a favorable settlement
The final reason truck accident claims are more complicated is the number of other people involved in negotiating settlements. In car accidents, liability for damages falls on the driver who caused the wreck. In truck accidents, the negligent party could be one of many, including the truck’s owner, the maintenance contractor, the vehicle manufacturer, or the truck driver. Determining liability is a complex process best navigated by a Chicago truck accident attorney.