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Truck and Car Accident Guide: Common Causes, Claims, and Settlements Explained

By: Anapol Weiss

Truck and car accidents can be some of the most costly wrecks in terms of both property damage and the potential for life-changing injuries. When a truck vs. car crash occurs, it may not only leave you in physical pain but also struggling financially. As medical bills pile up, loss of income can take its toll, even as you struggle to rebuild your life. With the help of an experienced Philadelphia personal injury attorney, you can get the compensation you need to regain financial freedom and focus on the healing process you need to move on with your life.

What Causes Car-Truck Accidents?

A truck and car accident stand out from other, more common collisions because of the sheer destructive force involved. A commercial truck can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, 20-times that of many smaller passenger vehicles. With that much weight and the inertia given to it when traveling at speed, the force of a collision can be devastating. To make these vehicles safer, certain regulations have been adopted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) that govern commercial trucking. Unfortunately, these rules are not always followed, and that can lead to tragedy.

  • Driver Error – Mistakes happen, and at highway speeds, those mistakes can lead to a serious truck and car accident. Failure to maintain a proper following distance, lane changing without double-checking a mirror, or not anticipating the movement of traffic around the vehicle could all lead to an accident.

  • Driver Misbehavior – While mistakes happen, ignoring the rules purposefully creates a recipe for disaster. Failure to perform pre-trip checks that can catch faulty equipment, driving while drowsy, or the use of mood-altering substances all violate FMCSA rules.

  • Company Negligence – From failing to ensure the proper hiring and training of drivers to policies that encourage drivers to operate their vehicles outside FMCSA driving limits and even postponing maintenance to increase profits, a motor carrier’s policies and actions can directly contribute to a car and truck accident.

  • Defective Parts And Poor Maintenance – Just as with personal vehicles, commercial vehicles can have parts that fail when they shouldn’t, contributing to avoidable accidents. In addition, shoddy maintenance performed by unscrupulous garages may leave a truck primed for a malfunction at highway speeds, leading to a car accident with a semi-truck or with a component of the truck that has detached.

With so many potential sources of liability, truck vs. car accidents can be more time consuming to investigate and more complicated when filing a claim to get the compensation you deserve. With the right evidence and legal representation, however, you have a better chance of getting the money you need to cover damages to your property and recovering from a personal injury after a car and truck accident.

Filing A Claim After A Car-Truck Accident

Any accident can be a traumatic event, but with the devastation a semi-truck can cause, these types of collisions can be life-altering. The first priority should always be to ensure the health and safety of those involved. Once the immediate danger has passed, here’s how to start protecting your rights.

Initiate Medical Care

After the emergency is over, it’s time to start the healing process. These first appointments help set a baseline for the severity and let your medical providers begin structuring a treatment plan for your recovery. Get to your appointments on time and cooperate with their care to help show potential judges and jurors that you were invested in getting your life back to normal. Be sure to keep a copy of all medical records and bills to support your claim.

Preserve Evidence At The Scene

As soon as possible after the accident, try to take pictures or videos of the location of the wreck. Pay special attention to skid marks on the ground, hazards, and weather if you’re documenting this the same day. Make sure you also get pictures of the vehicles involved from several angles so you have a full record of the conditions and aftermath of the car and truck accident.

Contact An Experienced Personal Injury Attorney

Getting a personal injury lawyer involved as soon as possible is an important step in recovering from a wreck. They’ll help you understand the claims process and work to protect your rights. They’ll help you understand documents sent by the trucking company or their insurance so you don’t accidentally sign away your ability to sue for damages or give a statement that harms your case, and they’ll work to build a case showing who is liable for damages and what those damages should entail.

Create Personal Accounts Of Your Recovery

While medical records provide an objective account of an injury and repair shop bills can show the extent of property damage, it’s harder to quantify the damages a serious injury can cause to your lifestyle. From missed work to anxiety, stress, pain, and suffering as you deal with your new reality and try to move forward, these are highly subjective. Keeping a journal that discusses your feelings and what you’re going through, pictures that illustrate the adversity you face, and videos that let juries see how changed you are as a result of a car and truck accident all play a role in building your claim.

Car Vs. Truck Accident Settlements

While every case is different, we’ll fight to get you the maximum amount of fair compensation we can, and we’re recognized as experts in personal injury cases. Once your case is filed, defendants can attempt to delay the proceedings, but your attorney will be with you every step of the way. In one recent case, we were able to secure a $20-million verdict against a trucking company when their actions led directly to our client’s injury during a car and truck accident.

Get The Help You Need Today

Don’t go it alone when you have the opportunity to consult with an experienced Philadelphia personal injury attorney for free. Contact us today to schedule a visit with one of our lawyers and take control of your financial recovery after a serious accident. Make your case Anapol Weiss’s cause today.