Updated August 4, 2021
Pickup Truck Accident Lawyer
Pickup truck accidents have unique challenges which differ from traditional car accident cases. If they are treated like any ordinary car accident, potential opportunities to increase case value will be missed and potential landmines that will hurt your case value will not be addressed, which can result in you not getting full value for your settlement.
The Injury Advocates Group legal team has experience litigating pickup truck accident cases. We have multiple, six-figure recoveries in cases involving pickup trucks, including pickup truck accidents with lift-kits.
If you were involved in an accident and a pickup truck was involved, we invite you to call us and utilize our pickup truck accident expertise to help maximize your recovery.
Table of Contents
Pickup Truck Accident Data & Settlement Analysis
7 – About the Author
Are Pickup Trucks More Dangerous than Cars and SUVs?
Are Pickup Trucks Statistically Less Safe?
Yes, available data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety suggests that pickup trucks are more dangerous than cars and SUVs. None of the top pickup trucks had across the board top safety ratings, an accomplishment that was achieved by top cars and SUVs.
Do Pickup Truck Accidents Cause More Serious Injuries?
Yes, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that pickup trucks are three times more likely to be involved in rollover crashes than other types of vehicles. The largest number of vehicle fatalities and injuries occur in rollover crashes.
Do Pickup Trucks Cause More Damage in an Accident?
Very likely, yes, pickup trucks can cause more damage when in an accident. Unlike cars and SUVs, pickup trucks are designed to carry large and heavy loads. Due to their towing capacity, they sometimes have trailers attached that carry additional weight.
A pickup truck’s heavy load makes it harder for a pickup truck to stop in shorter distances. It also can cause jackknife accidents where the pickup truck loses control and slides uncontrollably into one or more vehicles.
A pickup truck accident can happen when it is heavy loaded and it strikes another vehicle. The extra mass and force of impact involved due to the extra weight correlates to greater injury causing potential, which often means bigger settlements for injured victims.
Are Pickup Truck Drivers Less Safe than Car Drivers?
According to recent insurance data, yes, pickup truck drivers are less safe than car drivers. Everyone knows that driving while drinking alcohol is not safe. This data found that 1 out of every 22 Dodge Ram drivers have driven drunk, and been caught, as recorded by DUI citations.
This doesn’t even account for the number of Dodge Ram drivers that drove drunk and were not caught.
It is difficult to extrapolate this data for Ram drivers and make sweeping conclusions about drivers of every pickup truck.
However, out of the top 10 vehicles on the list, 6 out of 10 were drivers of pickup trucks, including Chevrolet S-10, Dodge Dakota, Ford Ranger, Chevrolet Silverado, and GMC Sierra.
Clearly, this data doesn’t point to vehicle safety, but the unsafe nature of the people who driver certain vehicles, namely, pickup truck drivers. That doesn’t make any difference to you, however, whether it’s a dangerous vehicle or driver of that vehicle that caused your accident.
The takeaway here is this data shows a greater risk of danger for a large number of pickup trucks on the road, albeit due to unsafe tendencies of their drivers based on this statistical study.
Do Pickup Trucks With Lift-Kits Cause More Injuries?
Yes, Pickup trucks with lift kits can cause more injuries to vehicles that are struck by those pickup trucks.
Cars are designed to receive impact where the bumper is located, with the bumper specifically designed to help absorb some of that impact which can reduce occupant injury.
A pickup truck with a lift kit side-steps that safety barrier and strikes the receiving car where the bumper is not located, leaving the victim more susceptible to injury.
In head-on collisions, the pickup truck could roll over the hood and send broken glass into the victim’s car.
Depending on the facts of your case, even modest injuries could be worth more if the vehicle that hit you was a pickup truck with a lift kit. We know how to handle these cases (one of our lawyers settled a lift-kit pickup truck accident for $130,000), and will fight to maximize how much money you get for your pickup truck accident claim.
Why Would Pickup Truck Drivers Get Smaller Settlements?
If I Was Driving a Pickup Truck, is My Accident Worth Less?
Maybe, yes, if you were rear-ended while in a pickup truck accident, your case could be worth less than if you were in a smaller vehicle.
The reason is that statistically, there is a greater likelihood of your injuries being less severe if your vehicle is larger than the vehicle that struck you.
This is not a black and white rule, and varies greatly depending on the impact type and movement and direction of the vehicles involved.
For example, the bigger and heavier a vehicle you are in when rear-ended, the less that vehicle is likely to move, which will reduce your potential injuries. Again, the analysis does not stop there. We ask additional questions, such as curvature of the road, speed limit, whether and which vehicles were traveling, or going uphill or downhill.
The short answer is that there is no short answer, but that an attorney needs to analyze the combination of facts involved in your case to put together a winning argument that can overcome the bias against pickup drivers involved in modest impact accidents.
Can Pickup Truck Drivers Get More Money for an Accident Settlement?
Sometimes, yes, a pickup truck driver can get more money for a settlement. One obvious example is if a pickup driver is rear-ended by a tractor trailer.
In such a collision, the pickup driver is likely to suffer a different category and severity of injuries than if rear-ended by a bicycle while in a pickup truck accident. This is an exaggerated example, but it illustrates the point.
How Do Tow or Receiver Hitches Affect Rear-End Injuries?
If you were driving a pickup truck that had a tow hitch or receiver hitch and you were rear-ended, you need a lawyer because you have to overcome two challenges that need special evidentiary support.
How Does a Tow-Hitch Impact My Property Damage?
Whenever there is little to no visible property damage, the insurance adjuster will argue that since there is little damage to the vehicle, the occupant could not have been injured or injured seriously.
This is a standard argument from a generic insurance playbook that all adjusters are taught.
The problem with the insurance argument is that it is untrue. Still, the insurance company will stick to that argument and you’ll typically have to file a lawsuit to get a fair result in these cases.
We know, because we’ve handled these cases. But filing suit alone will not automatically overcome this hurdle. A lawyer experienced with this issue, along with the literature to support it, will accomplish that goal.
Our lawyers have amassed a private digital library of over 1,000 scientific medical journals.
Our private library includes medical publications on property damage, it’s lack of correlation to injuries, and how tow-hitches play into that equation. We use this arsenal of science and literature to educate your doctors, and to cross-examine the insurance company’s doctors, to expose the truth.
How Does a Tow-Hitch Impact My Personal Injuries?
Second, you will need expert testimony to explain the mechanics of inertia and energy transfer for tow hitch rear-end accidents.
The simple science is that if the vehicle has a tow-hitch, there is no bumper to absorb the crush force of being rear-ended. Instead, the crash energy transfers directly into the tow hitch which sends it through the receiving vehicle’s frame and then to its occupants.
Can I Settle a Rear-End Tow-Hitch Accident without a Lawyer?
Yes, you can settle a rear-end tow hitch accident without a lawyer, but for two key reasons you should not. If you were rear-ended in a vehicle that had a tow hitch, not only will the vehicle pictures make it look like you should be hurt less, but the reality of energy transfer means you may have been hurt more. Insurance adjusters are not savvy enough to appreciate this, and often cannot consider these technical arguments even if you send them the literature.
You also face a general bias based on being in a larger vehicle, with a presumption by many judges and jurors that, as a result, you should be hurt less.
Pickup Truck Accident Q&A
Is my pickup accident different from other truck accidents?
There are unique aspects to pickup truck accidents like the presence of tow-hitches as well as the potential of receiving lower settlements, which makes them different from other truck accidents.
What difference does a tow-hitch make on the accident?
Insurance companies will often try and state that the tow-hitch made no difference in your accident, but this is not true and you will often need to fight for this part of your settlement. The tow hitch will reduce your visible property damage, and the insurance adjuster will argue less visible property damage correlates to less injuries (this is untrue).
Why is my pickup truck settlement worth less?
This is often linked to the argument made by insurance companies that relate to property damage. Your pickup truck likely was bigger, and has less property damage, and the adjuster will argue this means you could not have been seriously hurt.
Will a lift-kit affect my settlement?
This can affect you if you were driving the pickup as these can cause more injury to another car in the case of an accident. Depending on your jurisdiction, there could also be a bias against drivers who have a lift kit on their car. In short, yes, a lift kit can affect your settlement payout.
Are accidents with pickup trucks more dangerous?
Evidence has shown that accidents involving pickup trucks tend to cause more injuries and also more serious accidents as well because of the size and impact that these vehicles make against smaller cars. We cite to literature, above, in this article, which discusses in that in greater detail.
If a pickup truck cuts in front of me and I hit it, am I going to be held accountable?
If a pickup truck cuts in front of you and you hit it, there is a chance that the insurance company will claim that you are at fault because you hit the pickup on the rear of the car. Rear-ending cars, in some jurisdictions, have a presumption against them that they must overcome, which could make liability an even bigger fight for you.
It is important that you get as much information on the scene as possible in order to avoid such a situation. The other side violating a law does not mean that you will automatically have an easy case, and you will need to be diligent in order to get the best settlement.
Are lifted trucks more dangerous in an accident?
Lifted trucks can cause a considerable amount of damage and can create a situation in which you are going to suffer more injuries (if you are struck by a pickup truck that is lifted). We discuss this in detail above, but this is partly because the lift results in the pickup truck skipping over the receiving vehicles bumper protection.
My car went underneath a pickup in an accident, does this affect my settlement?
Yes, this can affect your settlement because these kinds of accidents result in excessive damage to your vehicle, which insurance adjusters correlate with bigger injuries. These accidents can also result in massive trauma that can cause serious injury and death. Moreover, the visual of a truck riding over your car is a scary image, and that can flush out more settlement money from the insurance company if positioned effectively by your lawyer.
I was hit by a pickup truck, are my settlement chances good?
Accidents with pickup trucks can result in serious injuries and this does usually mean higher payouts in damages and pain and suffering in comparison to accidents with cars. However, to know whether your settlement chances are good, and the potential value of that settlement, many more facts are needed in addition to the knowing the type of vehicle (pickup truck) that struck you.
Los Angeles Pickup Truck Accident Lawyer
Without an experienced motor vehicle accident attorney on your side who has access to the right experts and knows how to overcome the insurance company’s arguments for your pickup truck accident, there will be a major gap between how injured you are and what compensation you get for your insurance claim.
Do not let that happen. Contact the Injury Advocates Group law office and let us advocate a fair and full recovery for your case. You can reach us by phone, email, or message us using the contact form below to get your FREE consultation with one of our Los Angeles based lawyers.
Even if you are not in Los Angeles, we invite your call. We offer a free 30 minute consultation for anyone hurt in a vehicle accident.
Supporting Citations, Literature & Resources:
IIHS. (2021). Current models Small pickups.
The National Safety Commission. (2011). How Receiver Hitches Affect Rear End Collision Injuries
Lu, X. Y., Shladover, S., & Hedrick, J. K. (2004, June). Heavy-duty truck control: Short inter-vehicle distance following. In Proceedings of the 2004 American Control Conference (Vol. 5, pp. 4722-4727). IEEE.
Anderson, C. L., Winn, D. G., & Agran, P. F. (1999). Differences between pickup truck and automobile driver-owners.v Accident Analysis & Prevention, 31(1-2), 67-76.
Shrank, M. (2005). Trucks involved in fatal accidents codebook 2001. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Transportation Research Institute.
Allen, J. D., Watson, J. D., Mattson, C. A., & Ferguson, S. M. (2014). Evaluation of system reconfigurability based on usable excess. In ASME 2014 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference. American Society of Mechanical Engineers Digital Collection.
About the Author
Article Author: This law article was written by attorney Ray Benyamin, Esquire. Mr. Benyamin received his Juris Doctor degree from the Thomas Jefferson School of Law, and his license to practice law from the State Bar of California. His law license number is 277263. He has been practicing law for 10 years. Mr. Benyamin is a registered member of the following legal organizations: Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles (CAALA), the Los Angeles County Bar Association (LACBA), the State Bar of California, the American Bar Association (ABA), and the American Association for Justice (AAJ). Mr. Benyamin has personally helped his clients recover over $10,000,000 in vehicle accident insurance claims in the State of California.
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