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Big Rig vs. Passenger Vehicle Accident: What’s the Difference?

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Big rig accidents and accidents that involve regular, passenger vehicles are extremely different. Not only does the damage and potential injuries differ, but so do the parties involved. For example, if you are involved in an accident with an 18-wheeler, you are likely going to suffer more severe injuries and larger amounts of damage than if you were in an accident with another passenger vehicle.

Is Avoiding Big Rigs an Option?

Unfortunately, the answer to this question is a resounding “no,” unless of course you stay off the roads altogether. Approximately 70 percent of all the freight tonnage in the United States is moved from one location to another via trucks. The trucking industry alone is responsible for moving over nine billion tons of freight every, single year. Also, the trucking industry is responsible for keeping millions of people employed, with this number steadily going up.

Evidence Required in Trucking Accidents

Car accident attorneys are used to gathering evidence after an accident occurs. Some of the evidence they usually gather includes pictures of the involved vehicles, police reports, footage from any nearby security cameras and witness statements. If a big rig truck is involved, then different types of evidence will need to be gathered. This evidence includes the following:

  • Evidence about the driver. The driver’s qualifications, inspection record, hours of service, drug and alcohol screening results and training will all need to be known.
  • Evidence about the vehicle. Downloads on the board systems, documentation of maintenance to the truck, history of the trucks inspections and any GPS tracking information.
  • Evidence about the cargo. Useful documents include dispatch instructions, bills of landing, weight tickets, delivery documents and trip envelopes.

Liability Types in Trucking Accidents

When a traditional passenger vehicle accident occurs, the only people involved are the drivers of each of the vehicle, and in some situations the employer or owner of the vehicle. But, if you are involved in an accident with a large, commercial truck, then other entities may be involved. More people means more complications.

Some of the people who may be considered liable after a trucking accident include:

  • The person driving the truck involved in the accident.
  • The person who owned the truck that was involved in the accident.
  • The company that was behind the truck.
  • The individual responsible for maintaining the truck
  • The manufacturer of any faulty components on the truck.

Due to the many entities and people who may be held liable for a trucking accident, the best thing you can do if you are ever involved in this type of accident is to contact an attorney. They will be able to review the facts of your case and ensure you receive the compensation you are entitled to for the injuries and damages you suffered.