Key Differences Between Utility Truck and Big-Rig Truck Crashes

Utility Truck on the Side of the RoadThere are many different types of trucks on Norfolk’s roads and highways that can cause you or a loved one to suffer devastating injuries or death in a collision. One type of truck designed for a particular purpose is a utility truck. If a driver of a utility truck causes your accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. However, there are differences between utility and big-rig trucks that may affect your claim for compensation.

What Is a Utility Truck?

Utility trucks are smaller than big-rigs, and are used by telephone, cable, gas, and electrical companies, construction companies, and municipal governments to transport equipment and their employees. Common types of utility trucks include:

  • Utility company trucks
  • Snowplows
  • Cable, internet, and satellite dish trucks
  • Garbage and recycle trucks
  • Lawn care trucks
  • Street cleaning trucks
  • Construction trucks and heavy equipment, like backhoes, cranes, and bulldozers
  • Gas trucks

How Do Utility Truck Crash Claims Differ From Those Involving Semi-Trucks?

Like big-rig trucks, utility trucks require skill and training to drive. In addition, utility truck wrecks are caused by some of the same causes as other commercial truck accidents, such as speeding, distracted driving, and intoxication. However, there are important differences between utility and larger commercial trucks that could affect your claim:

  • Less regulation. Utility trucks are not governed by as many state and federal regulations as big-rig trucks. For example, utility trucker drivers are not required to follow the hours of service regulations, which limit how long a truck driver can drive without taking a break. This means that you may not have the same claims of liability in a utility truck accident.
  • Less restriction on driving location. Utility trucks can be driven in more locations than commercial trucks. They can be driven in neighborhoods and under underpasses where big-rig trucks are prohibited. While this can be helpful when these trucks are being used to restore utilities and other vital services, it also increases the danger that someone will be hurt or killed in their own neighborhood.

Who Could Be Liable to Compensate You?

Like other types of truck accident cases, there could be more than one liable party in a utility truck accident. However, the at-fault parties are different in these claims. Potential parties responsible for compensating you include:

  • Negligent driver
  • Local government if they owned the utility truck
  • Private company if the utility truck was owned and used by them
  • General contractor if the driver or his company was hired by him for a construction project

If you were injured in a utility truck accident, you need an experienced truck accident lawyer who understands the challenges in these cases on your side. To learn how the legal team at Tavss Fletcher can help you, fill out our online form on this page to schedule your free case evaluation today.