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Key differences in lawsuits against commercial truck drivers versus regular motorists

On Behalf of | Feb 21, 2024 | Truck Accidents |

The aftermath of a motor vehicle collision can be a time of immense physical pain, emotional distress, and financial uncertainty, especially if another’s negligence caused the accident. When you or a loved one has been involved in a crash with a commercial truck, the legal landscape differs significantly from a regular incident involving a personal vehicle.

Commercial truck crashes

Unlike accidents with personal vehicles, where the driver is typically the sole party responsible, truck crashes can involve multiple liable parties. This could include:

  • Truck driver
  • Trucking company
  • Vehicle manufacturer
  • Entities responsible for the truck’s maintenance
  • Entities responsible for loading the truck

Identifying the correct parties is crucial, as it can significantly impact the strategy and outcome of your lawsuit.

There are regulatory standards for commercial truck drivers

Commercial truck drivers are subject to strict federal and state regulations, including:

  • Limits on driving hours
  • Mandatory rest periods
  • Regular vehicle inspections

The violation of one or more of these regulations can be critical in establishing negligence.

Differences in damages and compensation

The scale of damages in truck crashes is often more significant than in crashes involving personal vehicles. Commercial trucks can cause substantial damage due to their size and weight, potentially leading to more severe injuries or fatalities. Consequently, the compensation sought in truck accident lawsuits tends to be higher, reflecting the greater losses in medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Insurance considerations: decoding the coverage puzzle

Commercial truck drivers are typically covered by their employer’s insurance policies, which usually have higher coverage limits to account for the increased potential for damage. This is in contrast to personal vehicle drivers, who may have minimal insurance coverage. While this might suggest a greater opportunity for financial recovery, it also means dealing with more robust defense strategies from well-resourced insurance companies.

Attorneys still work on contingency

Filing a lawsuit against a negligent truck driver involves a labyrinth of legal considerations that differ from those associated with personal vehicle accidents. Regardless of whether the collision involves a truck or private vehicle, attorneys representing the plaintiff work on contingency, meaning they are only paid if they secure damages for their client.