Truck vs Car Accident: Which Is Worse?

There are many different types of accidents that take place on the open road. While it’s easy to think an accident is an accident, there is some differentiation between the types of collisions that may happen on our highways and roadways.

For example, the difference between a truck vs. car accident may be greater than you would initially assume. Yes, they both involve motor vehicles. But these accidents are actually so different that they aren’t even treated the same in a court of law. 

Which is worse, and what are the key differences between them? Read on and we’ll walk you through everything you need to know. 

What Is A Truck Accident?

What’s the difference between a car and truck accident? You might not be able to discern the big difference yourself. 

A truck accident is legally defined as any accident involving tractor-trailers, 18-wheelers, semi-trucks, and other such commercial vehicles. That means more standard personal vehicles sometimes referred to as trucks (pick-ups, jeeps, so forth) are not what we’re referring to in this instance.

Truck accidents refer to very large vehicles. These types of vehicles, driven by professional truckers, get into accidents at a far lower rate than traditional personal vehicles. But, given their size, accidents involving these trucks can create a much larger amount of damage and danger than most vehicles. 

These trucks are most commonly tied to larger companies. That means the legal processes involved with trucking accidents can be quite complicated. These cases are often longer and much more involved than what you would expect from a traditional car accident case. 

Different Causes To An Accident

When it comes to dealing with the fallout of an accident, things are significantly more complicated when it comes to truck accidents. One of the reasons why? There are so many different potential causes that can cause a truck accident that wouldn’t be part of a normal accident. 

In most traditional accidents, human error would be to blame. A person might have run a red light, not looked before turning, or driven far over the speed limit. When it comes to trucking accidents, there’s a lot more to look at.

Yes, in many cases, a driver will still be found at fault for the accident. But sometimes, it is the company behind the driver that is found guilty. If you remember the Tracy Morgan case a few years back, Wal-Mart was found guilty for forcing the driver to work so long without taking a break to sleep. 

Companies that employ drivers that fail to provide a safe and regulated working environment for them can be held liable if an accident is to occur. Digging into this potential source of trouble can be complicated and time-consuming. 

There’s also always the chance that the accident was a result of equipment failure. These big trucks require a lot of different machinery to work right, and there is always the chance that something goes wrong while on the road.

It is still the driver’s responsibility to check the status of a truck before driving. That means a case of equipment failure might not totally free a driver from responsibility. In some situations, equipment failure might fall back onto the shoulders of the company itself.

If the company is allowing vehicles in poor condition out on the road, it can potentially make them liable for accidents that then occur. 

The Extent Of Injuries And Damage

Which is worse, a car injury or a truck injury? When it comes to the damage caused, there’s really no competition: a truck injury is the far worse of the two. 

The great size of a truck can cause serious injury to all involved in an accident. Many of these trucks way tens of thousands of pounds. In many cases, injuries sustained in a trucking accident can be deadly serious or even fatal. 

If a truck were to collide with a normal, much smaller, personal vehicle, you can guess at what kind of damage might occur. For this very reason, trucking companies are required to take out insurance with much higher than normal liability limits.

The law of the road insists that any driver injured as a result of a trucking accident must be compensated back to the position they were at prior to the accident. Determining what amount this compensation might be can be very difficult. An experienced trucking accident attorney might be required to help you land at a real number.

The legal process of obtaining justice and compensation will be longer in a trucking accident than a car accident. In both cases, a victim will have the right to compensation for their medical bills, suffering, and other such costs. But in a trucking accident, proving fault and extracting money might be a greater challenge.

Depending on the state the victim lives in, there may even be set limits to what kind of damages a person can obtain. Often, these limits are set on non-economic damages like pain and suffering. These limits are less common in the case of traditional car accidents. 

The Difference Between Truck Vs. Car Accidents

All accidents can have terrible consequences. But when it comes to distinguishing the difference between truck vs. car accidents, truck accidents have the potential to be far worse. Not only can they cause more terrible damage, but they can be quite complicated to unravel in court as well. 

Have more questions about the laws surrounding accidents? Check out our legal page for more.