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5 Differences Between 18-Wheeler and Auto Accidents.

Traffic accidents can be serious, but accidents with big trucks like 18-wheelers can cause even more damage. Big trucks are much heavier than regular cars. They can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, while a regular car weighs about 3,500 pounds.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that in 2012, crashes involving large trucks resulted in around 104,000 injuries and nearly 4,000 deaths. Accidents involving 18-wheelers and regular cars are not the same. The size and weight of these large trucks make these accidents more severe and complex.

Here are five key differences:

1. Greater Property Damage

An 18-wheeler can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, which is significantly more than the average car. When a big truck hits a smaller vehicle, it can cause a lot of damage, often ruining the smaller vehicle. This means higher repair costs and longer downtime for the affected car, impacting the victim's daily life and finances.

2. More Catastrophic Injuries

The big size of 18-wheelers means that injuries from a crash with one are often worse than injuries from a regular car crash. Victims may suffer from life-altering injuries such as spinal cord damage, traumatic brain injuries, or even fatalities. These injuries can result in long-term disability, affecting the victim's quality of life and ability to work.

3. Expensive Medical Bills

With more severe injuries come higher medical bills. People hurt in truck accidents often have a long way to go to get better. They might need many surgeries, stay in the hospital for a long time, and need ongoing therapy. Medical care for injuries from these accidents can be costly, especially if the injured person can't work.

4. Increased Chance of Fatality

Tragically, accidents involving 18-wheelers are more likely to result in fatalities. The sheer size and weight of these trucks can cause devastating impacts, leading to a higher likelihood of fatal outcomes. The emotional and financial aftermath of these tragic events leaves families of the victims coping.

5. Complex Insurance Policies

Due to the potential for serious accidents, trucking companies must carry high levels of insurance. However, this also means dealing with multiple insurance policies and companies, making the claim process more complicated. Victims may find themselves navigating a maze of paperwork and negotiations, all while trying to recover from their injuries.

Common Causes of Truck Accidents

Many factors cause truck accidents, and some are specific to commercial trucking. Some of the most common causes include:

  • Driver Fatigue: Truck drivers are under pressure to meet tight deadlines, leading to long hours on the road with little sleep. Fatigue can result in loss of coordination, concentration, and even falling asleep at the wheel.

  • Drug and Alcohol Use: Some truck drivers use drugs or alcohol while working, which can affect their judgment and coordination and make accidents more likely.

  • Driver Error: Like other drivers, truck drivers can make mistakes like distracted driving, reckless driving, and not maintaining their vehicles properly.

  • Road Conditions: Poorly maintained roads, construction zones, and confusing traffic signals can contribute to truck accidents.

  • Bad Weather: Large trucks can be hard to control in bad weather like rain, snow, and ice, which can make driving conditions dangerous.

  • Overloading: Trucks that carry too much weight can have accidents due to tire blowouts, jackknife accidents, and slower reaction times.

If you or a loved one has been involved in an 18-wheeler accident, it is crucial to have experienced legal representation. At Hamblen Injury Law, we know truck accident cases can be complicated. We're here to help you through the legal process and fight for the money you deserve. For more information and to schedule a free consultation, visit Hamblen Injury Law your personal injury lawyer.


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