Differences Between Truck Wreck Claims and Car Wreck Claims in Texas
The law treats traffic accidents differently depending on the vehicles involved. If you’ve been in a commercial truck accident, your claim may go through different procedures or involve extra steps than if it were a regular car crash.
Read on to learn about the difference between car wreck claims and truck wreck claims in Texas and what that might mean for your case.
Truck Wrecks Often Cause More Severe Injuries
Commercial vehicles can weigh upwards of 80,000 lbs. An impact with such a massive vehicle will transfer immense force, often causing life-changing injuries. Big trucks also have blind spots that limit the driver’s view of some road sections. This makes it harder to react promptly in emergencies and may lead to more severe crashes.
- Common truck accident injuries include:
- Spinal injuries
- Traumatic brain injury
In contrast, the vast majority of car accident cases include relatively minor injuries, such as:
- Strained muscles or ligaments
- Muscle tears
Truck Accident Claims Are Associated With More Damages
The same types of damages are available in car and truck accidents, including:
- Medical expenses
- Lost income
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of intimacy with your spouse and family
- Wrongful death
However, the comparatively more severe injuries in truck cases often translate into higher compensation.
The fact that you can file a claim against the trucking company’s insurance can also result in a higher settlement award. Commercial policy limits are considerably higher, often reaching $1,000,000 or more. In contrast, the minimum coverage for non-commercial vehicles in Texas is just $30,000.
There Are More Potentially Liable Parties in Commercial Truck Wrecks
Responsibility for car crashes typically lies with one or several of the drivers involved. Establishing liability and claiming compensation mainly revolves around investigating which motorist was negligent.
The list of potentially liable parties in a truck wreck claim is significantly longer. These include:
- The truck driver
- The trucking company
- The maintenance company
- The shipping or loading company
- The manufacturer
You must investigate all these parties when preparing a personal injury claim. Treating truck accidents like regular car crash cases and focusing solely on the driver’s actions that caused the wreck will likely misattribute liability and reduce the claim’s value.
Special Rules Apply to Commercial Vehicles
Another key difference between car wreck claims and truck wreck claims in Texas is that specific laws pertain to truckers and trucking companies but not regular drivers.
One prominent example is the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, which apply to all commercial vehicle companies and drivers operating interstate. Under Texas law, many of these safety regulations apply to state operators as well. Some of these rules include:
- Limitations on driving hours
- Medical exams for drivers
- Periodic drug testing
- Requirements to train and hire qualified drivers
When trucking companies breach any of these duties, they may be liable for potential accidents.
Truck and Car Accident Claims Use Different Evidence
Car accident claims typically require little more evidence than photos and videos of the scene and medical and police reports to prove your injuries.
Due to their complexity, commercial truck cases require substantially more evidence to identify all responsible parties and determine liability. Examples include:
- Vehicle maintenance records
- Truck inspection records
- Hours of service records
- Drug screening records
- Dispatch instructions
- The driver’s qualification and training file
Speak With a Texas Traffic Accident Lawyer
Knowing the difference between car wreck claims and truck wreck claims in Texas is critical to the success of your case. At Haines Law, P.C., we can review your case, advise you about liability, and develop a legal strategy based on the vehicle and crash type.
Call (832) 770-6603 or contact us online for a free consultation.