Each year around 5,000 people die in accidents involving large commercial trucks. This isn’t a total surprise given the number of trucks on the roads and the size and weight differences between a truck and a typical passenger vehicle.
A fully loaded semi-truck weighs around 80,000 lbs. while a passenger car weighs around 3,500 lbs. This size and weight difference can be devastating to those smaller cars involved in an accident with the truck.
Commercial Trucks and Liability
In any accident, the at-fault driver will be responsible for the victim’s injuries and other financial losses. When a commercial truck in involved, the good news is there are usually higher insurance policy caps to cover the damages.
The national average for a required minimum automobile insurance policy is around $35,000. However, because of their size, mass and cargo, commercial trucks are required to carry much higher policy minimums.
The Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration sets the minimums based on the type of cargo.
Type of Cargo Minimum Insurance Limits
Non-hazardous freight under 10k lbs $300,000
Non-hazardous freight over 10k lbs $750,000
Other hazardous freight $5,000,000
Almost all freight and trucking companies have policies in excess of $1 million for most trucks and $5,000,000 for hazardous freight loads.
Who is at Fault?
Every driver has to operate their vehicle using reasonable caution so that others around them may proceed in safety. Truck drivers have a greater burden because of the size of their vehicles and the weight and possible hazard of their load.
Truck drivers have to make sure their load is secure, and that they operate their truck safely and prudently.
Common Truck Driver Mistakes that Lead to Accident
The number one culprit is speed. Once a large truck gets up to speed, it can take over double the length and time of a car to stop. Other factors include:
- Road Conditions
- Equipment Failure
- Poor Maintenance
- Non-Secure Load
Types of Truck Accident Injuries
Truck crashes can be violent and do a lot of damage before the truck comes to a halt. Some of the injuries can be severe and cause the victim months and even years to recover. Some of the most common types of injuries in a truck accident are:
- Blunt Force Trauma
- Head Injuries/Traumatic Brain Injuries
- Broken Bones
- Chest Compressions
- Organ Damage
- Internal Injuries/Bleeding
- Airbag injuries
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer.
After any semi-truck accident involving a serious injury in Merced, contact attorney Martin Gasparian for a free consultation and case evaluation. Mr. Gasparian takes a hands-on approach to every case. He believes that every client should work directly with their lawyer, get honest advice and the personalized attention to detail their case deserves.