Being involved in any kind of car accident can be a traumatic experience, no matter how minor. When the accident involves a semi-truck or “big truck”, this can complicate the situation, especially when there are severe injuries and the truck driver is employed by a large company.

There are different classifications of trucks within the US:

  • Light trucks: These weigh up to 14,000 pounds and include pickup trucks, minivans, and panel trucks.
  • Medium trucks: Weighing between 14,001 and 26,000 pounds, these include box trucks, vans, trucks such as a Ford F-650 which can have a flatbed, motorhomes, and platform trucks.
  • Heavy trucks: These weight between 26,001 and 33,000 pounds and may be considered “big trucks”. These include dump trucks, garbage trucks, cement mixer trucks, tanker, log carriers, tractor units which are used to haul semitrailers, and more.
  • Very heavy trucks: These are too large to travel without escorts and additional permits. You’ll know when you see one.

Being hit by a heavy truck is likely to be physically more severe than being hit with a normal vehicle just because of the sheer size and weight. These kinds of trucks require a much longer distance for braking than a regular car – about 300 feet versus 525 feet. Tractor-trailers statistically also have more brake problems, which is understandable when having to haul so much weight.

Semi-truck Insurance Coverage

If you were hit by a big truck such as a semi-truck, and it was their fault, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires all carriers to have a certain amount of insurance coverage, based on weight and type of load.

  • Under 10,000 pounds, non-hazardous freight – $300,000 minimum coverage
  • Over 10,001 pounds, non-hazardous – $750,000 minimum
  • Oil being moved by private carriers – $1,000,000 minimum
  • Other hazardous materials hauled by private carriers – $5,000,000

These are minimum coverage requirements, and many companies employing drivers require at least $1,000,000 of liability insurance no matter what.

Accident Recovery

Being hit by a large truck can involve very serious injuries and even death. Being a survivor of a serious truck accident, you can develop PTSD and depression, on top of the potential medical treatment, surgeries, rehab and therapy work to get you back to where you started. Your claim should cover all of these costs as well as lost time from work and lost quality of life.

Dealing with a large truck company can be difficult, especially if the accident was severe and the claim you file is significant. Speak with an experienced Truck Accident Lawyer, to ensure you earn the settlement you rightfully deserve.