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How Are Truck Accidents Different Than Car Accidents?

July 25, 2022

The Chicago truck accident lawyers at Coplan + Crane have seen the devastation that can be caused by serious wrecks firsthand. While every crash has the potential to permanently change a victim’s life, there are significant differences between a crash involving two passenger vehicles and a wreck involving a massive 18-wheeler.

The severity of potential injuries, the greater number of parties who can share fault, and the aggressive tactics of trucking companies’ legal teams are just some examples of why truck crash cases are generally more complex and difficult than average car accident cases. These differences can play a significant role when pursuing compensation in a personal injury case

Truck accident claims require the knowledge, skill, and resources of a law firm with significant experience handling these difficult cases. Coplan + Crane has built a reputation for excellence in Chicago and throughout Illinois for helping our clients reach successful outcomes in even the most complex cases. We aren’t intimidated by large trucking companies and we won’t back down from a fight.

Below are just some of the many ways truck accidents differ from car accidents.

The Size and Weight of the Vehicles Involved

Large tractor-trailers can reach up to 80 feet long. Under federal regulations, big rigs can carry up to a maximum loaded weight of 80,000 pounds. This means that even at low speeds, there is more weight involved with every crash, putting the safety of anyone involved at greater risk for injury or death.

The massive size of many commercial vehicles means that they have the capacity to inflict more damage to vehicles and passengers regardless of the speed at which they are traveling. What may have been a simple fender-bender between two passenger vehicles can leave your vehicle totaled when you’re in a collision with an 18-wheeler. If a truck is involved in the crash, you can generally expect more damage and higher repair costs than an average wreck, no matter how minimal the accident may be.

The Severity of Injuries

Not only are semi-trucks more likely to cause more damage to your vehicle in a wreck, but they can also cause more serious injuries and even death. The extra weight of a multi-ton truck delivers extra force in a collision and subjects a victim’s body to more strain and injury.

If you sustained severe injuries in a truck crash, it is crucial to contact a Chicago truck accident lawyer as soon as possible. Large trucking companies and their insurers aren’t in the business of paying out claims, they are focused on profit and their own bottom lines. They notoriously offer low-ball settlements to try to give you as little as possible. An attorney will look out for your best interests and fight for the full and fair compensation that you need to move forward.

Potentially Liable Parties

When you get into a wreck with another passenger vehicle, you will most likely only be dealing with the negligence of the other driver. However, when determining fault in a truck accident case, your attorney will look at a wide range of evidence to determine if fault may be shared with others who were nowhere near the accident scene when the crash occurred. Depending on the facts in your case, any of the following parties may share liability for your crash and subsequent injuries, including but not limited to:

  • The truck driver
  • The trucking company
  • The trucks’ manufacturer
  • The manufacturer of truck parts
  • The truck’s maintenance technicians
  • The workers responsible for loading the truck’s cargo
  • The government agency responsible for maintaining the road where the wreck occurred

The Chicago truck accident lawyers at Coplan + Crane thoroughly investigate every case to determine who is responsible for injuries. In addition to evidence at the accident scene and testimony from eyewitnesses, we examine trucking logs, employment records, maintenance schedules, and much more when investigating a truck accident case. We understand the complexities of these difficult cases and work diligently to hold negligent parties accountable for the harm they have caused.

Involvement of Trucking Companies and Their Legal Teams

One of the most significant differences between truck accidents and car crashes is the involvement of large trucking companies and their teams of attorneys. Most trucking companies are ready at a moment’s notice to deal with a wreck. Following an accident, trucking companies will immediately send out their own investigative team to gather evidence. Before you may have even talked to a lawyer, the trucking company is likely already building a case against you and your best interests. 

This is one of the most important reasons why you need to discuss your case with a lawyer as soon as possible. It costs you nothing to speak with an attorney at Coplan + Crane. During your free initial consultation, we will listen to your side of the story, assess the merits of your case, and explain your rights and legal options. Our firm handles truck accident cases on a contingency basis, which means you don’t pay us unless we achieve a successful outcome in your case.

Talk to a Chicago Truck Accident Lawyer for Free

If you were hurt in a collision with a big rig or another commercial vehicle, do not wait to contact our office. The trucking company may already be building a case against you. The truck accident attorneys at Coplan + Crane understand the tactics used by insurance companies to reduce or deny claims. We are committed to pursuing every penny you deserve under the law.

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To discuss your rights with a Chicago truck accident lawyer for free, call (708) 358-8080 or contact us online now. We serve clients throughout Illinois, including Chicago, Oak Park, Rockford, and other areas.