Truck vs. Auto accidents – everything you need to know to help protect your rights
With an estimated 300 million cars and trucks on the road, vehicle accidents are inevitable in today’s busy, commuting-centric world. For minor fender benders, parking lot accidents or other low speed collisions that don’t involve bodily injury, direct interaction and negotiation with insurance company is usually all it takes to resolve any liability and make a person whole. When it comes to trucks, specifically big-rigs or other large commercial vehicles, the situation can get more complicated. Many times, these complications will lead to the need to hire a personal injury lawyer Brookhaven GA relies on with experience in truck accidents in order to make yourself and your property whole after a crash.
Bigger Vehicles Equal Greater Damage
Trucks are naturally larger vehicles so it makes sense that the damage they can inflict in an accident would be greater than that of a typical vehicle. Big-rigs, 18 wheelers or other commercial vehicles can easily crush a smaller personal automobile, leading to significant property damage. In addition, the force created by these larger trucks is more likely to cause bodily injury for those driving passenger autos. When these higher dollar amounts are at stakes, insurance companies can be less likely to settle or assign fault in your favor, necessitating the need for professional help.
Additional Evidence Collection
The bigger stakes of big-rig and other truck accidents often create the need for collection of additional or different evidence than that of a typical car crash. In an accident involving two automobiles, the police will typically take statements and prepare a report which is then used to assign liability and resolve any claims or criminal actions. Modern commercial trucks are often equipped with dashboard video cameras or other sophisticated monitoring systems that are used to collect evidence that may or may not be in your favor. Witness statements, driver logs, vehicle weigh ins and other key pieces of evidence may all play a potential role in your accident. These details often escape owners given their lack of day to day experience in dealing with the nuances of truck accidents but can be turning points in determining liability and compensation.
Who is Responsible
When drivers are involved in an automobile crash they generally don’t have to worry about any third parties that may be responsible for paying the bill. In the case of a truck, there will often be employers, companies, insurers, contractors or other individuals or organizations that may be responsible in the end. This can create a whole host of complications. In some cases, car owners involved in collision with a truck may not want to communicate directly with the driver. In others, it may be downright detrimental to do so.
Who the driver was delivering from or to, the carrier, or who paid for their vehicle insurance and maintenance, are just a few of the questions that may help to determine liability. For victims that are unrepresented by experienced legal counsel, it can be difficult to understand which questions you should be asking and why, much less how their answers may affect yours or another party’s liability for damage or injury.
The Bottom Line
In the end, experienced legal counsel with knowledge of the specific facts and nuances involving truck accidents versus automobile accidents can be a critical factor in recovery in the event of a crash. Automobile accidents, especially those that do not involve major bodily injury, can sometimes be resolved on your own. This is not the case for truck versus auto. Solid legal representation will protect your rights and ensure a better resolution.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Butler Tobin for their insight into truck and auto accident cases.