Motor vehicle collisions can range from minor inconveniences to life-altering experiences. Many factors influence the severity of a collision, including the speed of the vehicles and the way that they approached one another.
The types of vehicles involved can also be a major factor. When a crash involves a semi-truck and a passenger vehicle, it may end up being far worse than other collisions that occur in the same location or at the same speed. People may also find that securing compensation after a crash with a semi-truck can be more difficult as well. Why? The following are a few of the key factors differentiate a semi-truck crash with a passenger vehicle from collisions involving two passenger vehicles.
The degree of damage possible
The major difference in size and weight between a passenger vehicle and a commercial truck can produce much more significant damage to the smaller vehicle when a crash occurs. Commercial trucks cause unique types of crashes that typically don’t occur with smaller vehicles, such as underride collisions. The chances of the smaller vehicle being unsafe to drive after the crash and occupants having major injuries are higher when the vehicle that caused the crash is a semi-truck.
The insurance coverage available
Given that large trucks can cause such severe damage, it makes sense that they are subject to different insurance regulations than passenger vehicles. Unlike the state-based insurance requirements for passenger vehicles, semi-trucks must conform to very strict coverage requirements established by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
Typically, the liability policy for a semi-truck should provide at least $750,000 of coverage, which is many times higher than the base coverage required for passenger vehicles. Higher coverage amounts can better pay for the damage caused by these big vehicles, but it can also trigger more of a fight with the insurance company.
Questions about liability
In a standard car crash, it is usually one of the drivers who is liable for the damages generated in the collision. That is not necessarily true when the commercial vehicle causes a collision. Liability laws often pass financial and legal responsibility for these crashes to employers and trucking companies instead of the driver who is simply an employee. If a lawsuit is necessary instead of just an insurance claim, the people affected by the wreck may need to take legal action against a transportation company and not necessarily the driver who caused the crash.
Learning more about what makes a semi-truck collision different from other wrecks may help people pursue the compensation they need – and deserve – after a collision caused by another’s actions or inaction.