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How is a Truck Accident Different from a Car Accident?

At first glance, truck accidents can seem fairly similar to car accidents. In both, negligence or reckless behavior on the part of one of the drivers causes two or more vehicles to collide with each other, with property surrounding the roadway, or with pedestrians. This negligence can be drunkenness, exhaustion, use of a cell phone, or disregard for the posted speed warnings and traffic signals.

Beyond these surface details, there are a few ways a truck accident differs from a car accident. Perhaps the most obvious is the scope of the damage that a commercial truck can cause when compared to a passenger vehicle. Semi trucks, also known as tractor trailers, can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. The sheer force of being struck by this type of truck can cause a tremendous amount of damage to all others involved in a collision. If you have been involved in a collision with a commercial truck, work with an attorney who has experience handling this type of case. Because of the differences between truck and car accident cases, it is important that you specifically seek out an attorney who knows how to effectively represent a truck accident claim.

Truckers Can be Employees or Independent Contractors

And this matters when you are filing a personal injury claim. If the truck driver is an employee of a larger trucking company, you file a claim with the employer’s insurance provider. If the driver was an owner operator, meaning that he or she works independently, you must file your claim with this individual’s motor carrier insurance provider. In contrast, a personal injury claim for a car accident is filed with the other driver’s automobile insurance provider.

Certain Types of Accidents Can Only Happen with Trucks

A tractor trailer is built differently from a passenger vehicle. A truck has two parts: the tractor, which is the cabin where the driver sits, and the trailer, which is the long part that holds the cargo. These parts are linked by a kingpin, which is a metal cylinder between the two parts. A few examples of tractor trailer accidents are:

  • Jack-knifing. When the trailer reaches an angle of 45 degrees or less in comparison to the tractor, its wheels can move too quickly for the driver to control. This can cause the truck to skid, putting the driver and others in danger.
  • Stopping difficulty. A truck requires much more space than a car to come to a complete stop. If a truck does not have this space, it can collide with cars and property. When the trailer is empty, the driver has to brake differently, which can sometimes be very difficult.

Truck Accident Attorneys in Winter Park

If you have been involved in a collision with a commercial truck, seek medical attention for your injury right away. Then contact an experienced Winter Park truck accident attorney to discuss your rights as an injury victim. At Hornsby Law Group, we have experience filing and pursuing truck accident claims on behalf of our clients. Contact our firm today at (407) 599-3800 to schedule your free legal consultation with us.

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