If you’re involved in a semi-truck accident, do not be fooled into thinking the process will be the same as a car accident. There are differences between car and semi accidents. This is due to the sheer size of trucks and the damage that they can inflict, as well as truckers being interstate drivers. Here is what you need to know about the differences.
Federal Guideline Differences
All vehicles follow state and local traffic laws. With semi trucks, on the other hand, there are federal regulations that truckers have to follow. If a semi truck violates these laws, then the settlements are different. Large trucks travel the interstate and so the federal government sets regulations. Truckers register with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the Department of Transportation.
The guidelines require inspections and regulate loads and drive times. All drivers keep accurate logbooks to detail their hauls, their locations and the length of time it takes them to get there.
In a semi accident case, the evidence is different too. The lawyer investigates a driver’s qualification and training, along with the drug and alcohol screenings. Likewise, you may have to look into the driver’s hours. Then, there is evidence for the truck too. This includes any inspections or maintenance. Cargo also plays a big role in the weight of a semi and hence lawyers look at different weigh station paperwork.
A driver of a commercial truck has to operate the vehicle differently than passenger cars. Some of the differences include:
- Trucks need a longer time to stop
- Drivers have to use different angles if they back up
- Drivers have different blind spots
- Equipment failures are different
Due to these differences, there are different requirements for drivers and special skills that they need to have to drive a commercial truck.
Liability is different in a truck accident. Keep in mind that truckers have a lot of training and even carry a CDL license. In some cases, the trucker may be at fault, but this isn’t always the case. In other cases, the company itself may be at fault. Then, you also have to consider the trailer or haul that the driver is carrying. If a shipper loaded the trailer wrong and it led to an accident, then it’s the loader’s fault.
When it comes to car accidents and semi accidents, they are not equal. You cannot expect a semi accident to be the same as a car accident. There are a lot of differences that can impact a car accident case. For more information, consult a truck accident attorney.