There are many dangers and potential consequences to being in any type of traffic accident. However, collisions involving large commercial vehicles have a far greater potential to cause catastrophic damage and life-altering injuries. The size disparity between trucks and passenger vehicles, differences in handling, and the layered insurance policies of many trucking companies can make the semi-truck accident aftermath more physically, emotionally, and legally complex.
The Scale and Severity of Truck Accidents
Many passenger vehicle occupants who are involved in truck accidents suffer debilitating injuries that may last the rest of their lives. One of the main reasons for the increased severity of truck accidents is their enormous size. While the average passenger car weighs about 4,000 pounds, a fully loaded commercial truck can weigh 80,000 pounds. As a result, passenger vehicle occupants will experience the massive force of impact of an object 20 times heavier, which can lead to life-threatening injuries even at relatively low speeds.
Furthermore, trucks require much greater stopping distances than passenger vehicles due to their substantial weight. While a passenger vehicle traveling at 65 mph under ideal conditions will require 300 feet to come to a complete stop, a tractor-trailer at the same speed will need 525 feet. As such, a truck driver who is speeding or tailgating is less capable of braking early enough to avoid sudden hazards.
Legal Complexity in Truck Accident Cases
Trucking accidents are often more complicated than other crashes because multiple parties may be at fault. While truckers are often liable for accidents, their employers might also be at fault if they pressured drivers into working in violation of hours of service (HOS) regulations or failed to maintain their vehicles, for example.
Furthermore, the trucking company’s insurers and legal team will do all they can to protect themselves from liability, meaning accident victims need the support of an experienced semi-truck accident attorney.
The Physical and Emotional Toll
Injuries from a truck accident can cause immense physical pain. These injuries may require intensive medical treatments over months or years or result in permanent impairments. Furthermore, many truck accident victims experience mental health challenges, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and a loss of enjoyment of life due to the accident and resulting disabilities.
Financial Implications for Victims
What is the average settlement for a truck accident? The amount you can recover will depend on the value of your losses, such as medical expenses, lost income, and the pain and suffering you have experienced.
How long does it take to settle a semi-truck accident? The process is often longer than a car accident claim. It might take between a few months to well over a year. Your attorney can give you a reasonable estimate of how long your claim might take.
Contact our Phoenix Truck Accident Attorney to Learn More
If you have suffered injuries in a truck accident in Arizona, Silkman Law Firm Injury & Accident Lawyer can give you the support and advocacy you need. Contact us today for a free case review to learn more about your legal options.