Differences Between Truck Accidents and Car Accidents

Car and truck accident happening in the nature road.

There are many differences between an injury claim for a truck accident and a claim for a car accident. A qualified personal injury lawyer may investigate a truck accident very differently from a car crash.

A truck accident can be incredibly complex, with multiple responsible parties potentially at-fault, and much more evidence to request and comb through to determine the cause of the accident. If you were the victim of a truck accident caused by a negligent party, it’s incredibly important to hire a well-qualified, experienced law firm that has the resources to take on your truck accident case and win.

Experienced truck accident attorneys will conduct a thorough investigation and gather important evidence from the trucking company, such as the drivers’ logs, the load manifests, and the maintenance records they’re required by law to keep. Commercial trucks also have a “black box,” which is full of electronic data.

A seasoned truck accident attorney will want to review those records to help determine liability for the collision. Liability for the truck accident and the resulting injuries are often much more complicated in a truck accident than a car crash. The negligent person who caused the truck accident may not be the party liable for compensating you. It may be the driver’s employer, the trucking company, or it could be another party, such as the truck maintenance company. To prove negligence in your truck accident case, you may need accident reconstructionist experts.

Michael P. Fleming & Associates, P.C. has helped many truck accident victims throughout Houston and surrounding areas. Our record of securing favorable settlements for clients is second to none. At Michael P. Fleming & Associates, P.C., we understand the difficulties that victims face after a truck accident, and we do everything we can to help.

Call us today to schedule a free and confidential consultation with one of our skilled and compassionate truck accident lawyers at Michael P. Fleming & Associates, P.C.

How Is Fault Proven in a Truck Accident?

An experienced Houston truck accident attorney will be able to analyze how the crash occurred and determine its true cause. Fault is typically proven after collecting different types of evidence from the scene of the accident. Other forms of evidence could be uncovered in additional investigations, such as those into the trucking company’s paperwork.

Your attorney will be able to investigate a wide range of things, including for example:

  • The truck driver’s driving history
  • The truck driver’s commercial driver’s license and endorsements
  • The truck’s condition at the time of the accident
  • Whether the truck was within the legal size and weight limits
  • The truck’s repair and maintenance history
  • Whether the truck was properly loaded
  • Whether the trucking company was adhering to all regulations

While many truck accident cases are resolved through settlements, some cases go to trial. In civil court, a plaintiff has to prove their case by the preponderance of the evidence. This means their burden of proof is to show that the facts and evidence presented relating to the truck accident are more probable than not.

The four basic elements of negligence claims are:

  • Duty of care – The truck driver had a duty to operate the truck in a reasonable and safe manner.
  • Breach of duty – The truck driver breached that duty of care by not acting reasonably and safely.
  • Causation – The breach of duty caused the victim’s injuries.
  • Damages – The victim’s injuries resulted in damages.

When a truck accident victim successfully proves these elements, they may be awarded compensatory damages for their medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses.

Who Can Be Held Liable for Damages After a Truck Accident?

Parties that may share liability in a truck accident claim could include:

  • Truck driver
  • Trucking company
  • Other drivers
  • Truck manufacturer
  • Part manufacturer 
  • Truck loaders
  • Cargo loading company
  • Maintenance contractor
  • Mechanic or repair shop

Your truck accident attorney can investigate multiple scenarios to understand the cause of your accident and to identify the different parties that may be liable.

Are Truck Accident Cases Handled Differently from Car Accident Cases?

Truck accidents often involve serious injuries and property damages. Because huge damages are at stake, truck accident cases are often pursued more vigorously and defended more aggressively. Unlike a typical car accident, where it can take a few days or longer before anyone besides the police investigate, when a commercial truck is involved in a crash, the trucking company that employs that driver is typically notified immediately. This often triggers an immediate response.

What Evidence Is Needed for a Truck Accident Case?

Evidence commonly used in a truck accident claim may include:

  • The truck’s black box
  • Physical evidence from the truck and the accident scene
  • Driver’s logbooks
  • Photos from the accident scene
  • Maintenance records
  • Truck inspection reports
  • Employee records
  • Eyewitness testimony
  • Medical records
  • Blood test results
  • Cargo-loading records
  • Truck company compliance history
  • Cell phone records
  • Data from automatic on-board recording device (AOBRD)
  • Tire or gouge marks on road

The attorneys at Michael P. Fleming & Associates can request and review all relevant evidence, and can additionally send evidence preservation requests to ensure important evidence is not lost or destroyed.

Do Insurance Companies Treat Truck Accidents Differently From Car Accidents?

When a car accident involves two vehicles, it’s likely that only one person was at fault and a Houston accident attorney can pursue damages accordingly. However, with truck accidents, many parties often contribute to the accident. All these parties may have separate insurance companies and defenses.

While this may complicate your case, having multiple insurance providers involved may also help you get more compensation for your injuries because there is potentially more liability coverage available. However, without a skilled and knowledgeable lawyer on your side, you are not likely to get the full and fair compensation you deserve.

Truck accidents are often high-stakes cases for insurance companies because 18-wheelers and semi-trucks are much larger than passenger vehicles, and they typically cause much more serious injuries. With the sheer amount of force involved with truck accidents, traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, spinal cord injuries, and other severe injuries are common. Those serious injuries often require long-term medical care, which may cost hundreds of thousands of dollars or more.

You need to contact an experienced Houston truck accident lawyer of your own as soon as possible. The attorneys at Michael P. Fleming & Associates, P.C. are well-versed at dealing with complicated insurance claims and coordinating coverage to seek the maximum recovery for our clients. We are prepared to hold trucking companies accountable for negligence, even when their insurance carriers stand in the way.

Contact an Experienced Houston Truck Accident Lawyer

The Houston truck accident attorneys at Michael P. Fleming & Associates, P.C. understand the complexities involved in truck accidents and how traumatic an accident can be. Our compassionate Houston truck accident lawyers will work hard to ensure you receive the full and fair compensation you deserve.

Contact us today. We offer free and confidential consultations, during which we will discuss all your legal options. Our attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you won’t owe us a cent until we secure compensation for you.

Michael P. Fleming is a highly experienced litigator who has argued and won a case before the U.S. Supreme Court. He is a Houston resident who was twice elected to serve as the Harris County Attorney. He is also an avid runner who has completed eight marathons, to date, including two in Ireland. Only a small group of Texas lawyers are Board Certified as specialists in both Personal Injury Trial Law and Real Estate Law. Michael is one of them. He also proudly holds his B.A. degree from the University of Saint Thomas and his J.D. degree from the University of Houston College of Law.