Why commercial crashes are often different from other wrecks

On Behalf of | Jul 11, 2023 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

Reaching one’s destination safely and avoiding a crash is the main objective of most motorists. The entire purpose of traffic laws is to minimize the possibility of collisions occurring. Statistically, the more miles that people travel, the greater their chances of experiencing a major wreck, but certain behaviors also increase personal risk.

Most crashes involve passenger vehicles, but four-wheeled personal vehicles are not the only vehicles on modern roads. Commercial vehicles, like semi-trucks, are a major presence on many of the busiest roads and interstates. When collisions occur between semi-trucks and passenger vehicles, the result is often quite different than collisions between two passenger vehicles.

Particularly serious risk of damage and injuries

Crashes vary in severity based on the types of vehicles involved and the speed at which they traveled when the crash occurred. In collisions involving two passenger vehicles, everyone involved has a noteworthy risk of injury. However, in collisions involving commercial vehicles and passenger vehicles, the occupants of the smaller vehicle shoulder nearly all of the risk.

Commercial drivers are much less likely to suffer injuries or die in such crashes. There may not even be any major visible damage to the semi-truck despite the passenger vehicle being inoperable. Vehicles involved in semi-truck collisions are often not repairable, and people hurt in such crashes may require extensive medical support due to their catastrophic injuries.

Unique, complex insurance coverage and claims processes

Semi-trucks and other commercial vehicles have to have liability coverage, just like passenger vehicles. However, the policies that they carry are substantially larger. Trucks that weigh at least 10,001 pounds usually need to have at least $750,000 of liability coverage, which is multiple times the required coverage for passenger vehicles.

While that amount of coverage means that the people affected by the crash have a better chance of securing full compensation for lost wages and medical expenses, it also means a much more intense claim negotiation process. The professionals working for insurance companies often used aggressive tactics when trying to settle claims for as little as possible, which can leave those already struggling with debilitating injuries at a disadvantage.

Understanding how a semi-truck collision can differ from a typical car wreck may help people better handle the fallout of an injurious wreck.