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What You Need Know About the Difference Between Truck Accidents and Other Auto Accidents

truck accidentIf you have recently been involved in an accident involving a large vehicle like a tractor-trailer, you might have suffered severe injuries. If you were seriously hurt, you might have to take time off work while you’re being treated, which can lead to lost income and steep medical debt. 

The truck accident lawyers at Law Offices of Ronald J. Resmini, Accident & Injury Lawyers, Ltd. understand what you are going through. If the truck accident was caused by someone else’s negligence, you deserve a chance to hold the at-fault party accountable for their negligence. Over the last 50 years, Ronald J. Resmini has helped countless clients recover the compensation they needed to get back to normal through an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit. Now, teamed up with his sons, Law Offices of Ronald J. Resmini, Accident & Injury Lawyers, Ltd. is ready to help you.

There are a few key differences between truck accidents and other auto accidents that are important to keep in mind as you go through the claims process. 

Size Makes a Difference

18-wheeler truck accidentSometimes, it is important to state the obvious. Commercial trucks are much larger than passenger vehicles. A passenger vehicle usually weighs about 4,000 pounds. A truck, however, might weigh as much as 40 tons. That’s equal to about 80,000 pounds.

Due to the sheer size and weight of these vehicles, large trucks have the potential to cause catastrophic injuries and property damage in a collision. Unfortunately, occupants of passenger vehicles typically suffer the most severe injuries when involved in an accident with a commercial truck.

Who is Liable For Damages After a Trucking Accident?

Car accident cases tend to be mostly straightforward, but determining liability when a commercial truck is involved can be much more complex. That’s because multiple parties could potentially have contributed to a truck accident. For instance, if the trucking company failed to properly maintain the truck or was negligent in some other way, and their negligence contributed to the accident, they could be partly responsible for compensating you. Other potentially liable parties include the truck’s manufacturer, third-party maintenance companies, and negligent cargo loaders. Many of these entities have teams of attorneys who will attempt to aggressively contest your claim, so it’s critical to have strong legal representation in your corner going into the claims process. 

What Are the Common Causes of Truck Accidents?

Some of the most common causes of truck accidents include: 

  • Driver fatigueFMCSA regulations are very specific about how many consecutive hours a commercial truck operator can drive, how often they must take a break, and how long those breaks must be. Under pressure from their employer to meet deadlines, it is common for drivers to break these laws. When a driver is sleep-deprived, fatigue can slow their reaction time, interfere with their motor function, and impair their ability to make rational judgement calls. It may even cause them to fall asleep at the wheel.
  • Speeding or traffic violations – Truck drivers speed for many reasons, though it often has to do with meeting a delivery deadline. When truck drivers speed or engage in other reckless driving behaviors, they increase the likelihood of an accident. 
  • Drug and alcohol use – The dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs are well-documented. Since truck drivers are often battling fatigue, the temptation for them to take stimulants is high. Drugs and alcohol can lead to impairment and delayed response times. 
  • Mechanical or engine malfunction – Driver error is the cause of many truck accidents, but not all. Sometimes a mechanical malfunction is to blame. If a truck’s brakes, tires, engine, or other mechanical components cease to work properly, an accident can occur. 
  • Unbalanced or unsecured loads – Sometimes a truck’s cargo might become imbalanced or even fall off the truck during transit. This usually happens because the cargo was improperly loaded or tied down. Cargo that has spilled onto the road poses an immediate threat to other motorists.
  • Unskilled or unqualified drivers – Anyone who has ever driven a large truck can attest to the fact that trucks are much more difficult to operate than passenger vehicles. This is why truck drivers must go through rigorous training to obtain their commercial driver’s license. If a trucking company has hired an unqualified or unlicensed driver, their lack of experience may be hazardous to other motorists.

If you have been injured in a truck accident that was not your fault, you have a legal right in Rhode Island to pursue compensation from the party or parties who contributed to the accident.

Do I Need a Providence Truck Accident Attorney?

At Law Offices of Ronald J. Resmini, Accident & Injury Lawyers, Ltd., our experienced Providence truck accident lawyers have the experience and knowledge necessary to help you seek the compensation you deserve. We will work quickly to gather and preserve evidence of liability, and build a robust case on your behalf. Don’t hesitate to call us at (401) 751-8855 to set up a free consultation today!

Written By: Ronald J. Resmini

Last Updated : Wednesday, July 27, 2022