It’s true that a massive 18-wheel vehicle, potentially carrying tons of additional weight, and traveling at high speeds, can cause huge amounts of damage to smaller vehicles that it hits. The differences, however, don’t stop there, and one of the most important differences people need to be aware of is how many more “moving parts” there are legally in a trucking accident when someone goes to court over a dispute of who is at fault.
It’s More Than The Driver
In most cases where an accident occurs between cars, one of the most important legal actions, once everyone has been seen medically, is finding out who is at fault. In car-to-car or car-to-pedestrian/motorcycle/bicycle accidents, this is normally restricted to one driver or the other. Sometimes a case can be made for defective manufacturing or even poorly maintained road environment, but those are unusual cases.
In a trucking accident, the cause and the culprit may range far beyond just the truck driver, the driver’s truck, or the road conditions. Truckers often work with a logistics or shipping company and are just one more link in a larger corporate chain. This may mean that they don’t service and maintain their truck, another company, possible one under a contract does that. Truckers don’t use the same trailers to haul freight for every trip, different trailers, manufactured by different companies, may do this. In many cases, truckers don’t even load and pack the freight that is carried; another company may do this.
All of this is to say that with so many different groups involved, there is the possibility that if an accident occurs and the fault is nominally in the direction of the truck, it may not be the driver’s sole responsibility. Freight coming loose may be a result of inadequate work on the result of another logistics branch. The truck failing to perform as expected, or even breaking down in some critical manner could be negligence on the part of contracted mechanics. Even the freight itself may be at fault in some cases.
The Legal Team
Another big difference that adds to the complexity of a trucking accident is that a driver in a car who gets into an accident often has to seek out the help of an experienced car accident lawyer to help resolve the situation. With a trucking accident, the truck driver is backed by a logistics company in many cases. And that logistics company already works closely with aggressive insurance and legal investigation team to get to the bottom of a case and sometimes, in less ethical situations, shift the blame.
This is why people that find themselves in an accident with a truck should not treat it like any other accident. It’s best to get professional help and talk to a lawyer experienced in trucking accidents, so you get comprehensive, relevant advice that fits the scale of the situation you’re in..