The Difference Between a Truck Accident and a Car Accident

A truck accident can be exponentially worse than a car accident because of the truck’s massive size. When an 80,000-pound, 14-foot-long truck slams into you at a stop light, the resulting injuries and damages can be devastating. The vast size difference between the vehicles explains why 97% of fatalities in truck accidents are passenger vehicle drivers and passengers.

If you were in a truck accident recently, it’s vital to understand the differences between a truck and a car accident. If you have questions, the expert truck accident lawyers at Pinder Plotkin can assist you.

Maryland Is A Contributory Negligence State

Maryland is one of four states with a pure contributory negligence standard in motor vehicle accidents. This law means if you were just 1% at fault for the truck accident, you could not receive compensation in a lawsuit.

Because of the injury severity, this presents a significant issue in many truck accident cases. For example, imagine a truck turning left in front of you and hitting your car. However, you were going 10 MPH over the speed limit. As a result, the insurance company may cite the state’s contributory negligence standards to avoid having to pay you damages.

You can bet the trucker’s insurance company will try to find a way to blame you at least 1% for the accident, so they don’t have to pay. That’s why you need an aggressive car accident attorney at your side. Your attorney will fight tirelessly to show that the truck driver was at fault in the crash.

Special Rules Apply To Truck Drivers

Tractor-trailer drivers must comply with the same traffic safety laws as the rest of us, but much more than that. For instance, truckers are limited in how long they can drive at a stretch by the hours-of-service rules.

Further, in Maryland, truckers can be found legally intoxicated with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of only 0.04 percent, which is lower than the standard .08 percent.

Truckers must also closely follow training, maintenance, and loading regulations. Your attorney will find out if they do not follow these rules closely. A rule violation in this area could be helpful for a successful lawsuit.

Truck Cases Are More Complex

Many truck crash cases are more complicated than car accidents. When a tractor-trailer smashes into a car, there are usually more severe injuries, leading to more medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost earnings. Determining a fair settlement in a truck accident case requires a lot of skill and dedication, which is why hiring a skilled truck accident attorney in Maryland is critical.

Insurance Limits Are Higher

Another significant difference between Maryland car and truck accidents is the insurance in place. Most trucking companies must have commercial insurance policies with higher limits. This can make a huge difference in a settlement where you have serious truck injuries.

For instance,  the minimum insurance required in Maryland for liability for a car is only $30,000. But trucks must have higher limits because of the higher safety risks. In Maryland, most trucks must have $750,000 of coverage for general freight and $300,000 for household goods.

Imagine if you were seriously hurt in a truck crash, but the truck didn’t have the larger policy limit. As a result, you would be stuck paying out of pocket for your medical treatments. Fortunately, our Pinder Plotkin tractor-trailer accident attorneys are adept at finding every insurance policy in effect that could be used to compensate you.

Truck Insurance Companies Are More Aggressive

When a trucker seriously injures a passenger car occupant, there is a lot of money on the line. If you suffered a fractured spine and hip and need weeks in the hospital, your medical bills alone could be in the hundreds of thousands. There is usually more money at stake in a truck crash than in most car accidents.

So, the insurance company will fight hard to reduce its liability for the accident. The insurance company may even call soon after the accident to offer a quick settlement. They want to get the case done before you consult a lawyer but don’t fall for it. Always retain a truck accident lawyer to represent you in a truck crash. On the other hand, there are some minor auto accidents where an attorney may not be necessary.

How A Trucker Obtains His Commercial Driver’s License

Another difference between car and truck accidents is how the trucker gets his license. Maryland handles the testing and logistics, but all federal regulations must be satisfied for the trucker to drive legally on public roads. 49 CFR 383 addresses this issue and explains the rules by which they can get their CDL.

The truck driver has a higher standard of care to drive safely than passenger vehicle drivers, which may lead to a higher settlement or verdict award if the driver violates the standard of care.

Speak To A Maryland Truck Accident Lawyer

The initial moments after a truck crash are terrifying. How bad are your injuries? Is the car drivable? How will you work? Allow the Baltimore personal injury attorneys to deal with the case’s complexities and insurance companies. Then call Pinder Plotkin today to learn how we can fight for your legal rights.

More Legal Blogs

Subscribe To Our Newsletter