You may remember from your school days Newton’s Second Law of Motion: Force equals mass times acceleration. The larger and heavier something is, the more force it has when it collides with another object.
For this reason, a motor vehicle accident that involves a large truck is more serious than an accident that involves a smaller vehicle. When a large truck collides with a passenger car, the result can easily be catastrophic for the occupants of the smaller vehicle even if the truck emerges from the accident unscathed.
These accidents can cause severe injuries that require extensive medical care and leave the injured unable to work for the rest of their lives. In cases of fatal accidents, they can leave families struggling without the income and support of their lost loved ones.
These accidents are more common than many people realize, and they appear to be increasingly common as more trucks travel our nation’s roads. According to the nonprofit National Safety Council, 5,700 large trucks (10,000 pounds or heavier) were involved in fatal accidents in 2021, representing a 49% increase over the number 10 years prior.
Liability in truck accident cases
If the accident was caused by the negligence of the truck driver, the injured or their family members may hold the driver liable for their damages, including their medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and more. In this sense, a truck accident case is like any other motor vehicle accident case. However, it may be possible to hold other parties liable as well.
Generally, an employer can be held liable for damages caused by the negligence of their employees. This means the injured may be able to recover damages not just from a negligent truck driver, but also from the driver’s employer.
Other potential defendants in these cases can include truck maintenance companies that were negligent in their work, or manufacturers that put unsafe vehicles on the road.
Because the damages in these cases can be so high, it’s important to expand the pool of potential defendants in order to maximize recovery for the injured and their families.