What makes semi-truck crashes so dangerous and hard to resolve?

On Behalf of | Feb 21, 2024 | Truck Accidents |

Any vehicle that travels on public roads could eventually end up involved in a crash. People often picture collisions with other passenger vehicles when they think about the possibility of a wreck. However, some of the worst crashes that occur every year involve semi-trucks and other commercial vehicles.

When a passenger vehicle collides with an 18-wheeler, the crash itself can be particularly severe. The aftermath of the collision can also be significantly harder to resolve. What makes semi-truck collisions more dangerous and the crashes they cause more difficult to handle?

Size affects crash severity

The massive size and staggering weight of a commercial truck is what makes it capable of causing such catastrophic damage. When vehicles of significantly different sizes collide, the smaller vehicle typically suffers far worse damage. The occupants of the smaller vehicle are far more likely to have serious injuries than the person operating the semi-truck. Semi-trucks can cause unusually severe types of crashes, such as underride collisions. Therefore, even crashes at low speeds can have dire consequences for the people in the passenger vehicle.

Claim resolution can be more contentious too

Lawmakers have sought to limit how much risk commercial vehicles like semi-trucks generate for members of the public. There are numerous traffic laws that apply to commercial drivers but not to those in passenger vehicles. The insurance coverage requirements for semi-trucks are also significantly higher than the requirements for passenger vehicles.

In theory, better coverage means an increased chance of securing appropriate compensation given the scope of damages caused. Unfortunately, the possibility of a larger settlement also gives the insurance provider more of an incentive to negotiate aggressively. With at least $750,000 worth of coverage available, semi-truck crashes often see very intense insurance negotiations. Even though there is more coverage available, it may actually be difficult for those injured in a semi-truck crash to secure an appropriate amount of compensation.

The parties affected by a semi-truck collision may have a harder time putting a realistic value on catastrophic injuries when compared with straightforward injuries that might result from less severe collisions. It can be a challenge to estimate future medical expenses and lost wages and even harder to convince an insurance professional that those figures are reasonable.

Those who need compensation after a semi-truck crash often require guidance during the insurance claims and personal injury lawsuit processes. Recognizing that a semi-truck crash is innately different than other types of wrecks may help those hoping to secure compensation after a collision to adjust their expectations accordingly.