Determining liability in a regular vehicle accident can be tricky, but it becomes even more complicated when large and commercial trucks are involved. Such cases may involve one or multiple companies and agencies, depending on if the truck driver is an overhead employee, independent contractor, or temp for the regular driver.
For accidents like this, an attorney specializing in truck accident law is essential to sort out liability and hold involved parties responsible. An attorney will also be able to ensure you receive fair compensation for any injuries you suffered.
Determining Liability in Trucking Accidents
The number of responsible parties when a trucking accident occurs will depend on the circumstances and events surrounding the accident. Figuring out what led to the accident and who is liable is a lengthy process that can take a few days or months. This is where an attorney is useful, as they will handle the logistics and are best versed in such accidents.
Below is a list of the parties involved in trucking accidents who may be at fault:
- Manufacturer – The truck manufacturer may be liable if it produced a defective part that caused the truck to fail, such as faulty brakes; similarly, a manufacturer may produce equipment that fails to keep cargo secure
- Trucking Company – The trucking company may be liable if they fail to properly inspect the trucks before a trip, cut costs related to safety measures, or hold drivers to unrealistic deadlines or metrics
- Truck Owner – If separate from the trucking company and driver, the truck owner may be liable if they do not adhere to federal regulations, regularly maintain the truck, or ensure its proper function
- Truck Driver – The driver may be liable for an accident if they break the law (such as by speeding or drinking), drive against recommendations in adverse weather conditions, or drive when tired or otherwise less attentive
- Third-Party – It is possible a third party unrelated to the truck caused the accident, such as if another driver switched lanes and cut the truck off, braked suddenly at fast speeds, or hit another car and caused a pileup
- You – Of course, it is also possible that you caused the accident and are liable for everyone else’s injuries, such as if you were driving while intoxicated, distracted, or otherwise not focused on the road
Consult with an attorney to determine liability and receive compensation for any injuries if you were involved in a trucking accident.
Steps Involved in Determining Liability
After an accident, your attorney and any other legal representation will need to sort through the parties involved to determine who or what caused the accident, who is liable, and to what extent. This can be lengthy and arduous, depending on the number of parties involved. For example, an accident involving you and the truck is likely to be more straightforward than an accident involving a multi-car pileup on the interstate.
Even after certain parties are found liable, attorneys will still need to determine if compensation is necessary and, if so, how much. Compensation can be affected by factors like the extent of responsibility you bear (if any), your specific injuries, testimony from your doctors or other medical experts, and your injuries in comparison to those of other plaintiffs.
Your attorney will be able to advise you on what steps are necessary to receive fair compensation for your injuries.This is even more crucial to ensure that you are financially secure in the future if you were permanently injured in the accident.