Personal injury claims involving truck accidents are different from other motor vehicle accident cases in two key ways: The amount of damages involved and the parties who can potentially be held liable.
Newton’s second law of motion says that force = mass times acceleration. This means the faster something is moving, and the more mass it holds, the more force it carries. This relatively straightforward scientific fact explains why truck accidents are so much more dangerous than other types of motor vehicle accidents.
A fully loaded semitrailer truck can weigh 25 times more than a passenger car. This means that even at relatively modest speeds, the large truck carries much more force than a smaller vehicle. If it collides with a sedan or other typical family car, the result can easily lead to serious injury for the occupants of the car. At highway speeds, the results can be extremely destructive.
According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, 5,788 people were killed in U.S. truck crashes in 2021. Most of these victims — 72% — were occupants of other vehicles.
In legal parlance, “damages” refers to the economic and noneconomic losses a person suffers because of an accident. If these injuries are the result of another party’s negligence, the injured can hold the negligent party liable for the damages. This means the negligent party must compensate the injured for what they have lost.
Because of the destructive force of these accidents, the damages in truck accident cases can be enormous. Damages can include all medical expenses related to the accident lost wages, pain and suffering and more. In cases involving catastrophic injuries, these costs will carry on for the rest of the injured person’s life, and so it is necessary to calculate the damages they will suffer well into the future.
As we noted above, personal injury cases hinge on the question of liability. If the defendant caused the plaintiff’s injuries through negligence, then the defendant can be held liable for their damages.
In a motor vehicle accident case involving two typical cars, the injured party seeks to hold the other driver caused the accident through negligence and therefore should be held liable. In commercial truck accident cases, other parties may be held liable as well.
For instance, if a truck driver caused an accident, the injured may seek compensation not only from the truck driver but also from the truck driver’s employer. This maximizes the injured party’s chances of recovering all the compensation they need and deserve.