When a 40-ton commercial tractor-trailer collides with a one-ton passenger car, the results are often catastrophic. The injuries that result from car vs. truck crashes can cause death or lifelong impairment. In many cases, a person’s life is cut tragically short by this type of vehicle accident.
When both a large truck and a small car are involved, it is almost always the occupants of the smaller vehicle who suffer the worst outcomes. For all two-vehicle collisions involving a semi-truck and a smaller car, 97% of those killed are occupants of the small car, not the large commercial truck.
There are major differences between accidents involving only passenger vehicles and those involving large commercial trucks (referred to as 18-wheelers, tractor-trailers, big rigs, or semi-trucks). Due to the varying nature of these vehicle types, different accidents can result as well.
The Difference Between Car Accidents and Truck Accidents
One of the main differences between car crashes and truck accidents stems from dissimilarities in the vehicles themselves. Due to the size, weight, and design of an 18-wheeler, many crashes involving trucks can be traced back to a loss of vehicle control, poor handling, or mechanical issues. These issues don’t affect cars as much as they do large trucks. Most car accidents are a direct result of human error, such as speeding, making a wrong maneuver, or not paying attention.
The purpose of travel also influences the type of accident. Car drivers interact much more frequently with one another. Drivers of cars travel through cities, neighborhoods, minor rural roads, and in areas with high pedestrian and bicycle traffic.
Truck drivers, on the other hand, primarily stick to less populated freeways with fewer intersections and less opportunity for collision with another vehicle. Most truck accidents occur on a highway, while most car accidents happen on roads and streets.
Some of the most common types of car accidents include:
- Rear-end collisions (often in heavy traffic)
- Distracted driving accidents (often caused by cell phone use)
- Pedestrian accidents
- Weather-caused collisions
- Intersection accidents (often T-bone collisions)
- Speeding or driving too slowly
- Reckless driving or road rage accidents
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Driving while fatigued
Tractor-trailers are vulnerable to a number of accident types not usually seen among passenger vehicles. For example, because a “tractor” and “trailer” are two separate pieces, a jackknife accident can occur when those two components come toward one another at a sharp angle. Similarly, few passenger vehicles have as high a center of gravity and as large a broadside surface area as a large commercial truck. Because of the differences in size and design, semi-truck rollover accidents are far more frequently seen than passenger car rollovers.
Common types of truck accidents include:
- Underride and override accidents (when a car becomes trapped under the trailer of a truck)
- Blind spot accidents (when a truck driver doesn’t see a car in one of its “no zones”)
- Accidents due to overloading
- Stopped truck accidents (when a disabled vehicle on the side of the road causes a collision)
Types of Injuries in Car vs. Truck Accidents
Car vs. truck accidents can happen in a variety of ways. When they occur, the results can be life-shattering. As we have seen, small car occupants usually suffer the most significant injuries. A car vs. truck accident can result when:
- A trucker doesn’t see a car in one of its blind spots
- A truck driver loses control of the vehicle on the highway
- A car driver doesn’t see a truck stop and drives under the trailer
- Weather causes dangerous driving conditions that result in an accident
- A truck experiences a tire blowout
- An intoxicated or distracted driver’s behavior causes a collision
These are only a few of the instances that can lead to a truck vs. car accident. In the event that an accident happens, it can be expected that injuries will be severe, if not fatal.
Injuries that result in car vs. truck accidents:
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord injury (SCI)
- Head trauma and traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Loss of limb (through the accident or resulting amputation)
- Burns and abrasions
- Internal organ damage
- Facial disfigurement
- Permanent scarring
- Cognitive impairment
Legal Help for Car vs. Truck Accident Injury Victims
The personal injury lawyers from Krzak Rundio Gorman, Injury Attorneys have the legal expertise to handle both car accidents and truck accidents. While it may seem like a personal injury claim would be similar between these two types of motor vehicle accidents, there are significant differences.
In a car accident, most involved parties are individuals driving their own vehicles for personal purposes. This is typically not the case in a truck accident. In a truck accident, there is a hired driver, working under company rules, carrying a specific license, often subject to strict federal laws, driving a vehicle that is usually not their own. The truck driver is not the only individual involved in this situation. Lawyers often need to examine the motor carrier company, the parties responsible for truck maintenance, and shipping companies responsible for loading cargo. They also need to be familiar with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.
In many ways, truck accidents and car crashes are very different types of legal situations. But to the attorneys at Krzak Rundio Gorman, Injury Attorneys, no case is more important than another. We know that no matter the circumstances of your injury, you need justice and healing. When we take your case, we make it our personal mission to get you the best outcome possible. Your case result is as important to us as it is to you.
If you were hurt in a motor vehicle accident, we have the experience and knowledge to help you recover the compensation needed to redirect your future. Call or contact us online to learn more about your legal options following an accident.