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How Trucking Collisions Vary from Other Accidents


Personal Injury

Trucking collisions can be distinguished from auto accidents involving average-sized passenger vehicles, in several ways. Not only do trucking collisions have higher rates of injury and fatality, they commonly involve more complex and distinctive legal issues as well. The Gainesville  Attorneys of the Law Office of Alba & Yochim P.A. discuss  the manners in which truck accidents vary from other accidents, with the hope that motorists will be able to assess the dangers associated with sharing the roadway with large trucks, as well gain the knowledge necessary to select appropriate legal representation in the event of a collision with a truck.

Perhaps the most notable distinction between trucking collisions and other auto accidents, is the heightened risk for severe injury or fatality. The reason for this is simple—the combined factors of size, weight, force, and general destructive nature of large trucks are such that, when a truck versus car accident occurs, the driver and occupants of passenger vehicles are in a more vulnerable position, than as with car versus car accidents.

Statistics show that passenger vehicle occupants are far more likely to suffer fatal injury than the occupants of a large truck. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), on average nearly three-quarters of all fatalities in collisions between a truck and passenger vehicle were suffered by the occupants of the passenger vehicles, while the occupants of large trucks comprised less than a sixth of all reported fatalities.

In consideration of their high fatality rate, trucking collisions can also be distinguished by the type of legal action taken as a result of such incident. When a victim is killed in a trucking accident, and therefore unable to assert a claim on their own behalf, the victim’s family members will often seek to recover damages for their loss in a Wrongful Death Action. Such actions vary greatly from the typical Personal Injury action brought forth by a surviving victim.

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Further, the occupants of passenger vehicles that are lucky enough to have survived a collision with a large truck, are at a much higher risk of sustaining severe injury in an accident, than in car vs. car wrecks. Just as with the fatality rate in trucking collisions, the occupants of passenger vehicles are far more likely to suffer injury than the occupants of the truck. According to NHTSA data, truck vs. car collisions have an injury rate that, on average, nearly mirrors the fatality rate of such incidents–roughly 70% for passenger vehicle occupants, and a 25%  for truck occupants.

In addition to higher rates of injury and fatality, and the types of claims brought forth due to trucking collisions can also be distinguished by the complexity of many other issues commonly involved. Apart from the typical issue assessment necessary in traditional car vs. car negligence or wrongful death cases, trucking accidents also require the evaluation of legal issues that are entirely unique to this type of claim.

In example, matters concerning causation and liability are often much more complex in truck accidents. The level of complexity of a case can depend on a variety of factors, such as whether the truck involved was owned by another individual or entity and being operated by an employee, and if so, whether the driver was acting within the scope of his employment; under the direction of his employer; and/or with their employers’ knowledge. It is important to explore the possibility of employer-related negligence, such as negligent hiring or negligent supervision, following any crash involving a large truck.

Additionally, trucking collisions often involve consideration of provisions under federal law, in addition to relevant state law provisions. In some cases, trucking accidents involve issues of criminal liability, in addition to those associated with civil liability. Further, the evidence available in trucking collisions can also vary greatly from the tradition car vs. car auto wreck. It is important to ensure that appropriate measures are taken to preserve evidence following a trucking collision.

By considering the high risk of serious injury or fatality, and also the distinct nature of legal issues that are generally associated with trucking collisions, the process of selecting an attorney can be simplified. In other words—not just any legal professional will do. The complexities common to most trucking collisions demands the knowledge, expertise, and proficiency of an attorney experienced in this specific type of accident.

The Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Attorneys of the Law Office of Alba & Yochim P.A. have several decades of combined experience representing the victims of accidents involving highly divergent factual circumstances and complex legal issues. Our dedication to justice, and aggressive yet compassionate approach, continues to allow us to provide superior representation to the victims of trucking collisions.