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3 factors that are different in a crash with a commercial truck

On Behalf of | Sep 29, 2022 | Truck Accidents

No two car crashes are exactly alike. The make and model of the vehicles involved will differ. The speed and direction of travel of the vehicles will also differ. Factors ranging from the weather to the surface of the road can also influence exactly what happens during a crash.

Despite how different all crashes are, there are certain things many motor vehicle collisions have in common, ranging from the availability of liability insurance to the legal requirements for the people involved.

Collisions that involve a commercial truck are often significantly different than collisions between two passenger vehicles. What makes commercial truck crashes different than passenger vehicle wrecks?

The difference in vehicle size

A semi-truck is several times larger and heavier than a passenger vehicle. Although there can be a significant discrepancy between a small hybrid vehicle and a large SUV, the gap between even the biggest passenger vehicle and a semi-truck is much larger.

The risk for catastrophic injuries and a totaled vehicle is significantly higher when a passenger vehicle collides with a commercial vehicle rather than another car or van.

The insurance available

Motor vehicle liability coverage is often far lower than the total costs created by a collision. Many people hurt in car crashes find themselves scrambling for financial resources and worried about money because low coverage policies that barely comply with state law could leave them with tens of thousands of dollars in bills.

Thankfully, most commercial vehicles are subject to higher requirements for liability insurance. Any vehicle that travels on an interstate basis will typically have at least $750,000 worth of insurance. That will cover a lot more than a basic passenger vehicle policy with $25,000 worth of coverage.

The designation of fault

Commercial vehicles are more difficult to operate and require more care and skill from the professional drivers at the wheel than passenger vehicles do. However, those in passenger vehicles also need to be aware of the limitations of commercial trucks and adjust their driving around them accordingly.

Maneuvers that may not lead to a designation of fault in a crash with another passenger vehicle could end up making you the one at fault after a crash with a commercial vehicle. Drivers need to understand how to be safe around semi-trucks, like giving them plenty of space.

They also need to know their rights, like the option of making an insurance claim against that large, commercial policy. Learning more about commercial trucking crashes can help those negatively affected by a recent collision.



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Verdicts & Settlements

36-year-old laborer for landscaping company fractured wrist when fellow employee hit him with truck. Claimant received in excess of $30,000 in workers’ compensation benefits for total disability and medical expenses and settled with automobile insurance company for fellow employee for $95,000.

1989 workers’ compensation claim settled for $125,000. Claimant originally sustained a low back injury when she slipped and fell at local grocery store resulting in low back surgery in 1989. Several years later, claimant exacerbated her low back injury. Claim was reopened and settled with carrier for $125,000 in 2006.

47-year-old deli clerk sustained low back injuries at work for local supermarket. Carrier originally denied claim on the grounds that the injury was pre-existing. After formal workers’ compensation hearing carrier accepted claim and paid all total disability benefits and medical expenses in excess of $100,000. Case then settled for an additional $100,000 after injured person received a permanent disability rating.

34-year-old male roofer sustained multiple injuries to his shoulder, neck, back and hip when he fell from roof during work. Claimant was provided workers’ compensation benefits in excess of $100,000 and settled remaining claims for an additional $55,000.

40-year-old male working for cleaning company sustained neck and low back injuries when he fell on defective staircase while cleaning local museum. Claimant recovered over $95,000 in workers’ compensation benefits and resolved claim against museum for $85,000.

26-year-old laborer sustained fractured foot when a cast iron pipe was dropped on his foot. Employer and workers’ compensation carrier denied claim on basis that injured worker was an independent contractor. After a series of informal and formal workers’ compensation hearings, carrier conceded that claimant was an employee and settled case for $85,000.

24-year-old waitress sustained back injury while working at Outback Steak House. Workers’ compensation insurance company initially denied the claim. After a series of informal hearings, carrier accepted claim paying medical expenses and total disability benefits. In addition to those benefits paid, claim settled for an additional $75,000.

Delivery truck driver sustained right wrist fracture in rear-end motor vehicle accident while in the course of his employment. Claimant recovered in excess of $40,000 in workers’ compensation benefits for medical expenses and total disability benefits. Claimant settled case against at-fault driver for $105,000.

22-year-old male working as stocking clerk at “big box” retailer sustained herniated disc in low back. Workers’ compensation carrier refused to accept the claim. After formal workers’ compensation, hearing commissioner ordered carrier to pay over $35,000 in past total disability benefits and pay for surgery and all related medical expenses. Case settled for an additional $35,000 for a total recovery in excess of $100,000.

Rear-end collision on entrance ramp to Merritt Parkway resulting in 49-year-old woman sustaining mid-back injury. Case settled at mediation after filing suit for $300,000.

28-year-old passenger sustained multiple herniated discs in automobile accident in New York state. New York no-fault carrier paid for extended period of disability from work and medical expenses, including expenses for surgery. Case settled against driver of vehicle for $300,000 policy limits shortly after filing suit.

54-year-old man sustains shoulder injury when hit from behind by uninsured motorist on New Jersey Turnpike. Case settled for $135,000 prior to trial.

CT Transit bus driver sustained torn meniscus in collision with another vehicle. Claims made against at-fault driver, workers’ compensation carrier and client’s underinsured motorist policy. All claims settle for a recovery in excess of $100,000.

68-year-old woman sustained neck and back injuries in rear-end collision and required extended course physical therapy, but was not a surgical candidate. Case settled for $100,000 prior to filing suit.

34-year-old woman sustained concussion and neck and back injuries in hit-and-run accident on a New York highway. Claimant settled uninsured motorist claim for her $100,000 policy limits.

80-year-old woman sustained right foot fracture when her foot was run over in a parking lot. Case settled for at-fault driver’s policy limit of $100,000 prior to filing suit.

38-year-old nanny sustained right femur fracture when she fell down defective stairs in home of her employer’s neighbor. All medical expenses and lost wages reimbursed and case settled for an additional $150,000.

Claim against landlord for defective staircase in multi-family rental house. Claimant sustained a right femur fracture. Case settled for $125,000 prior to filing suit.

$95,000 judgment obtained against bar and nightclub for assault by one of its patrons against another patron.

47-year-old woman sustained a broken left wrist when she fell from porch stairs at house she was renting. Case settled for $95,000 shortly before trial.

26-year-old male bitten on leg by German shepherd. Claim against dog owner settled for $65,000 plus payment of all medical expenses.