Why is a Tractor Trailer Crash Different than a Car Crash?

Car accidents involving tractor trailers, semi-trucks, or 18 wheelers can be far more complicated than accidents involving regular consumer cars or vehicles. Obviously, due to the size and power of a tractor trailer, a higher degree of catastrophic damage and serious injury can be incurred in a crash with one of these vehicles. It is typically good practice to be extra cautious when driving near these types of commercial trucks.

Of course, there are several similarities between tractor trailer crashes and standard car accidents, but the differences really do set the two apart.

  • Timing becomes an immediate factor. Typically, tractor trailers are owned by a business, and are insured through a commercial insurance policy. Most of these insurance companies will hire third-party companies to investigate and handle the settlement of their claims. So, after an accident with one of their commercial trucks, companies often contact the insurance company immediately. From the start of the claim, investigators from the trucking company, the third party insurance, or the insurance company itself will try to gather statements and evidence, which are typically used to relinquish liability. We highly advise that you speak to a lawyer before talking with anyone affiliated with the owner or insurance company of the tractor trailer. Always remember, these adjusters are not impartial, they work for the tractor trailer company, and are not “on your side.”
  • Commercial insurance policies are extremely complex. Commercial insurance policies typically involve coverage for multiple drivers and numerous vehicles. There may be specific language about which company is liable for accident occurrence and for exactly how much. Commercial policies oftentimes allot specific liability coverage for damage to property or injury to persons. Similarly, the policy could just combine all damage and injury responsibility into a Combined Single Limit Policy. No matter which is the case with your particular crash, it is important to have an attorney experienced in handling crashes with commercial policies to review the applicable policy. Attorney review can guarantee that all coverage is being aggressively pursued.
  • Multiple parties could be liable for your injuries. It is not unusual for a tractor trailer to be owned by a commercial carrier and a cargo trailer to be owned by a separate entity. Usually, the truck is individually owned and the cargo trailer is the only part that is commercially owned. So, in this instance, who would be responsible to pay for your damage and injuries? The answer lies in the thorough examination of all contracts and policies between the numerous parties. It is crucial to fully explore the relationship between a driver and the company in order to establish that the driver was operating as an employee of said company.  Ultimately, if this relationship is established, the company might be liable for negligent hiring and supervision based upon the driver’s past records. We truly pride ourselves in our thorough, detailed examination of all contractual documents to examine all relationships between potentially liable parties. Obviously, all of our investigations and legal services are covered under the guaranteed no fee policy, wherein we ensure that you won’t pay us anything, unless we win your case.
  • The risk of catastrophic injury increases. Unfortunately, accidents that involve large commercial trucks typically involve serious bodily injury or even deaths. These crash-related injuries could potentially involve major surgeries, long hospital stays, and months of rigorous physical therapy and rehabilitation. In addition to the potentially life-changing injuries, victims and their families are faced with the immediate burden of expensive medical bills. It is crucial that in arguing your case, your St. Louis big rig truck accident attorney is willing to aggressively purse fair compensation. This compensation should not only be for past medical bills, but for pain, mental anguish, suffering, and the costs of future medical care. With the magnitude of injuries present, commercial insurance carries usually employ an attorney immediately to help them minimize their liability and exposure.

Missouri Truck Crash & Injury AttorneyWe understand that hiring an attorney after a devastating crash can be a daunting project. Before hiring an attorney to represent you or a loved one for the injuries sustained in a tractor trailer crash, we recommend that you ask the attorney to share with you the results of similar cases involving commercial trucks. Of course, we invite you to call us or request a free consultation wherein we can share with you our outstanding past results in handling tractor trailer crash claims. Give us a call today for a free consultation at 314.409.7060 or at 855.40.CRASH.

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Reach out to Chris Dixon for personal injury, workers compensation, product liability, and other legal services for experienced, reliable counsel and representation in St. Louis.

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