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What is the Difference Between a Truck Wreck Case and a Car Wreck Case?

Posted: June 8, 2023

If you or a loved one has been injured in a collision involving a truck, you might wonder why you need a trucking accident attorney. After all, aren’t all motor vehicle accidents the same?

Not quite. When it comes to accident litigation, the differences between car and truck wreck cases can be significant. Tractor trailers require a special license to operate and are governed by a separate body of laws and regulations than regular automobiles. When a tractor trailer is involved in a collision with an automobile, the result is usually a catastrophe. For this reason, it is important to work with an attorney who has the knowledge and experience to deal with these companies and their insurance carriers.  

When should you hire a trucking accident attorney?

Due to the complexity of these cases, consulting a tractor trailer wreck attorney can make all the difference. “Trucking wreck cases often require thorough investigation into the records and reports surrounding the incident, as well as the retention of outside experts to help analyze key data and evidence,” says South Carolina trucking attorney Douglas Jennings. “At Yarborough Applegate, our experienced team understands the difference these factors can make in any case, but especially when a trucking company or driver may be at fault.”

Large tractor trailer companies have rapid response teams on standby to go to the scene of the collision shortly after it occurs. There are engineers and investigators on call just like doctors in a hospital to go to the scene immediately and begin working on behalf of the trucking company. 

“In a recent case, an engineer from Charlotte, North Carolina, arrived on the scene of a fatal collision in rural South Carolina even before the helicopter landed at the hospital with our severely injured teenage client,” Jennings says. “Trucking companies get to work quickly after a tragedy and it can hinder a victim’s opportunity to collect valuable evidence if there is not a knowledgeable attorney working for the victim.”

What are some of the key differences between car and trucking accident cases? 


One of the greatest factors in a trucking accident is often the discrepancy in size between the vehicles involved. At minimum, a semi truck can weigh ten times more than the weight of an average automobile, exacerbating the force of any collision. If struck by a truck or its cargo, vehicle passengers are likely to suffer injuries several times more severe than those sustained if they were hit by another car.


Following a motor vehicle accident, evidence is typically limited to photos, videos, eyewitness testimonies, and physical items at the scene. But commercial trucking companies often outfit their trucks with more extensive data-collecting systems, including cameras and electronic logging devices. There is also the pattern of a driver’s cell phone data to consider. Additionally, company records likely detail the truck’s maintenance and cargo loading processes, as well as the hiring and training of its driver. All of this data can be vital in determining fault—as long as you have a trucking attorney on your side who is prepared to fight for access.


In a car wreck case, responsibility typically falls on one or more motorists. But when a truck is involved, there are often several other parties who could be found at fault. We know where to look. In addition to the truck’s driver, those partially at fault could include the commercial trucking company, service or maintenance providers, parts manufacturers, cargo loaders, or freight brokers. 

If you have experienced injury or damage as the result of a trucking accident, our team will work tirelessly to secure the compensation you deserve. Contact us today.

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