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Motorcycle Accidents

How do truck accidents differ from car accidents?

One primary difference between an accident involving a truck compared to one involving a sedan is the severity of injuries. A recent trucking accident at the Sepulveda Pass injured at least three individuals and required several lanes of the 405 to close. The sheer size of semi trucks almost guarantees that a collision with another vehicle will lead to serious injuries.

There are also other differences between a commercial truck crash and one involving ordinary passenger vehicles. 

Larger insurance policies

Typically, companies own the big rigs and employ drivers to operate them. These trucking companies generally want to carry higher insurance policies on their vehicles because repairing damage to a truck will be more extensive than repairing damage to a regular car. These companies also recognize the potentially lethal nature of accidents involving their vehicles and carry insurance to protect themselves. Finally, trucking companies are required to carry a certain level of insurance to operate per government regulations. Most companies will have policies covering millions of dollars in liability on their large trucks. 

A more expensive policy could mean there will be more adjusters on the case in the event of an accident. The insurance agency will attempt to pay out as little as possible to the injured parties, just as any other insurance company would after a standard car collision. Million dollar payouts are certainly a possibility in these instances, but the company will fight tooth and nail to avoid that outcome. 

Different regulations

Commercial truck drivers also need to abide by a different set of regulations compared to everyone else on the road. They require special driver's licenses, and they need to maintain detailed logbooks of of their activities, including when the truck last received maintenance. With these and other regulations in place, there are more elements for investigators to address. For example, it may be the driver who's negligence caused the wreck, but it could also be the company that failed to have scheduled maintenance performed, or defective products from the manufacturer that caused the accident. Any of these parties and others may have failed to perform their duties required by law.

Any failure to meet up to the standards required by law can open the door for a finding of liability on the part of the truck driver or trucking company.

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