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  • Writer's pictureRobert Schuerger II

Why Are Truck Accidents Worse Than Car Accidents? Six Key Differences

Few accidents are as devastating as those involving commercial trucks and passenger vehicles. The size and weight disparity between the two vehicles involved usually means the occupants of the passenger vehicle end up bearing the brunt of the impact and sustain severe injuries.

Usually, truck accidents are worse than ordinary passenger vehicle accidents in terms of injuries, property damage, and complexity.

It is for this reason that a lot of effort has been made to improve safety standards in the trucking industry. However, trucking accidents continue to claim the lives of innocent victims each day.

The only silver lining is that there is a law firm in Cincinnati, Ohio, ready to go to war for the victims of truck accidents going up against a determined trucking company or its insurance provider. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys are a team of Cincinnati semi truck accident lawyers that have many years of experience dealing with such situations.

Causes of Truck Accidents

Causes of Truck Accidents

Accidents occur daily on the highways of Ohio, and they can often be unpredictable. However, looking at the accidents that have occurred over the years, a certain pattern begins to emerge regarding the common causes of trucking accidents. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can answer questions like, "What is the number one injury for truck drivers?"

Whenever a truck accident happens, it is usually due to one of the following reasons:

  • Distracted driving

  • Unsecure cargo

  • Speeding and reckless driving

  • Wrong braking techniques that lead to jackknifing

  • Inclement weather conditions

  • Not leaving enough braking distance

  • Poor vehicle maintenance

  • The abundance of inexperienced drivers on the road

  • Unsafe road conditions

  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs

  • Fatigued truck drivers

Six Types of Trucking Accidents

Truck accidents can be identified according to how they occur, the reasons behind the crash, and the type of truck involved in the accident, for example, a semi-truck or a truck pulling tractor trailers. Contact Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys for questions like, "What are the most common truck accidents?"

Looking at these parameters, trucking accidents can be classified into six common types, which are:

  • Cargo Spills

A cargo spill is likely to happen due to improper loading techniques or overloading the vehicle. If the truck driver is forced to apply emergency braking, the cargo can easily be spilled from the trailer. Depending on the type of cargo being transported, a cargo spill can be extremely dangerous.

  • Rollover Crashes

When a truck driver tries to turn too quickly for the speed the truck is traveling, he/she can easily lose control of the truck and cause it to roll over. The size and weight of the vehicle, as well as its momentum when traveling at high speeds on the highways, means a rollover accident can be quite devastating.

  • Underride Crashes

One of the worst-case scenarios for drivers of passenger vehicles is to crash into a truck at such high speeds that the smaller vehicles will get caught beneath the much larger trucks. Some of the most horrific injuries and fatalities have been caused by such underride trucking accidents.

  • T-bone Accidents

When a truck crashes into the side of another vehicle, it is called a T-bone accident because of the position of the vehicles involved in the collision. This type of accident is common at intersections and is usually caused by either party ignoring a red traffic light or stop sign.

A T-bone accident involving a large truck is usually fatal for the passengers of the smaller vehicle sitting on the side that is hit.

  • Side swipes

Side swipes are quite common but usually result in fewer fatalities than other car accidents involving large trucks. These collisions occur when the truck crashes into a vehicle that is traveling in a parallel direction.

Improper lane switches and cars that drive in the blind spots of truck drivers are the common culprits in sideswipe accidents. When driving a smaller passenger car, drivers need to make sure they are visible to the truck driver at all times.

  • Rear-end Collisions

When a truck crashes into the rear end of a smaller vehicle, or vice versa, it is called a rear-end collision. This type of crash can be quite severe depending on the size and weight of the truck, as well as the speed it was traveling at.

  • Head-on Collisions

Regardless of the types of vehicles involved, car accidents involving head-on collisions are usually very serious. When one of the vehicles happens to be, for example, a semi-truck, the injuries and property damage can be catastrophic.

Why Are Truck Accidents Worse Than Car Accidents?

A truck accident is usually worse than an ordinary car accident because of the following six reasons:

  • Victims Suffer More Severe Injuries

When semi-trucks collide with other vehicles, the passengers of the smaller vehicles usually suffer serious injuries.

The following are some of the common injuries sustained in truck accidents:

  • Back and neck injuries

  • Rib and torso injuries

  • Broken bones

  • Lacerations

  • Burns

  • Internal injuries

  • Head Injuries (traumatic brain injuries)

  • Wrongful death

While these types of injuries are also common in ordinary car accidents, when a huge truck is involved, the injuries are usually life-threatening.

This is why the damages required to cover medical bills, pain, and suffering in trucking accidents are usually much higher than when smaller cars are involved.

Fatalities are also a lot more common, which is something drivers of smaller vehicles need to be wary of when sharing the road with large trucks.

  • Size and Weight Of Trucks

A semi-truck can be close to a hundred feet long and weighs several tons. This weight can be significantly increased if the truck is carrying a very heavy load.

By comparison, standard passenger vehicles weigh much less and are a lot smaller. It is common for the roof of a passenger vehicle to be at the same height as the underside of a big truck.

When considering this, it is clear that a truck accident involving such big differences in size and weight will only have one outcome. While the commercial truck driver will be safe high in the cabin, the passenger vehicle's occupants will suffer severe injuries and fatalities.

  • Dangerous Cargo

Another important aspect to consider when dealing with truck collisions is the nature of the products the truck was transporting. Some materials may be so hazardous that even a relatively minor collision can become quite serious if a cargo spill is involved.

This is one of the reasons why a truck company has to have clear labels on its trucks to help identify the cargo and why a proper accident response plan has to be in place.

  • Truck Driver Is Not the Only At-fault Party

When dealing with truck accident cases, the commercial drivers are not the only ones at fault for the collision. Usually, the victims will have to deal with multiple parties, such as trucking companies, insurance companies, and vehicle manufacturers.

Another factor to consider is that truck accidents usually involve multiple vehicles, especially in cases such as rollover accidents. In such scenarios, the number of different parties making claims in the same accident makes handling such cases very complicated.

  • Truck Accident Claims Are Complicated

Unlike an ordinary car accident, when a large truck is involved in the collision, the claim process can become complicated. The trucking industry is governed by its own set of rules and regulations that make car accident cases involving trucks difficult to handle for a lawyer with little experience.

A truck accident attorney has to be familiar with the trucking laws in Ohio if they are to successfully represent their client. If the trucking company is from another state, the case will become even more complicated.

  • Truck Accidents Are Harder to Predict

Most drivers are used to driving an average car and are, therefore, more familiar with how other drivers of smaller cars behave. However, there are a lot fewer trucks than other cars on the roads, meaning drivers do not encounter heavy vehicles as much as smaller ones.

When an accident involving a heavy truck occurs, other drivers do not usually know how to react, which makes the situation worse. It is common for a driver of a passenger vehicle to fail to get out of the way of an out-of-control semi-truck because they cannot predict which way the truck will go.

Proving Negligence of Truck Drivers and Trucking Companies

Due to the reasons mentioned earlier, such as having multiple parties involved in truck accidents and dealing with trucking companies from different states, proving negligence can be very complicated.

This situation is compounded by the fact that Ohio is a comparative negligence state. This means the victim has to bear their portion of the blame too. Only a good attorney can help victims prove the negligence of the at-fault party and walk away with the compensation they deserve.

What to Do After a Truck Accident

What to Do After a Truck Accident

In the aftermath of a trucking accident, it is important to take the right steps to ensure the safety of the victims and to pave the way for a successful lawsuit. Victims should take the following steps:

  • Seek medical attention.

  • Gather evidence, such as photos.

  • Obtain witness statements.

  • Hire an experienced truck accident lawyer.

Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys Will Go to War for Victims

When dealing with cases as complicated as truck accidents, victims need attorneys who are ready to go to war for their clients.

Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys is ready to help victims fight for their rights and receive fair compensation. The top-rated attorneys in Ohio are just one call away.


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