Truck accidents are typically much different from car accidents. The injuries are typically more severe, because of the sizes of the vehicles involved. Another big difference is the fact that several parties may share liability for injuries caused by a truck accident. This doesn’t just pertain to highway accidents involving big rigs. It can also be the case in an accident involving a dump truck, a tow truck, or any other large commercial vehicle.
Penn Kestner & McEwen has a team of truck accident attorneys who are very familiar with the complexities that need to be navigated in order for an injury victim to have the best chance of winning their case. If you would like to get in touch with us for a free case review, you can use our online contact form or call (800) 732-3070.
The following is a look at some of the potentially liable parties that might have been to blame for the suffering you’ve been forced to endure.
Understanding Truck Accident Liability
From a personal injury law perspective, liability is basically being held financially responsible for a truck accident. If you didn’t cause the accident, of course, that means someone else is to blame. In other words, they’re liable for your injuries.
Different Parties That may Share Liability for Your Truck Accident
As you’ll see, when it comes to a wreck involving a huge commercial vehicle, the list of potentially liable parties is a long one. Here are just a few:
Truck drivers are under an immense amount of pressure to meet deadlines. As a result, they will often stay behind the wheel for far too long. And truckers will become extremely fatigued in the process. They’ll even drive under the influence of powerful drugs in an effort to stay awake. If this was the case in your accident, the liability may lie with the truck driver for your accident injuries.
Drivers will sometimes be forced to extend themselves far beyond their limitations, because their employers only care about maximizing their profits. Trucking companies can also hire unqualified drivers, or take shortcuts regarding maintenance.
There are times when a trucking company will hire someone from the outside to load the cargo that a truck will carry. When this loading is done in a negligent fashion, that third-party company could be part of your personal injury lawsuit.
Truck Rental Company
Moving companies routinely rent big trucks to customers who want to take care of their own relocations. These people don’t want to spend the money to hire movers, so they do it themselves. The rental company could face liability if it rents a truck that is defective, and that defect results in an accident.
Just like the loading of cargo, trucking companies will sometimes outsource the maintenance and repair of their fleet to third-party mechanics. If an accident results due to faulty maintenance work, that third-party might be held liable.
There are times where a truck accident occurs due to circumstances beyond the control of the driver, the trucking company, or any third party. If a part failed due to negligent design or manufacturing, you may be able to sue the manufacturer.
What Happens if More than One Party is Liable?
If an investigation reveals that more than one party committed negligence, and will face liability as a result, things can get extremely complicated, extremely quickly. That’s why you’re going to need the help of an attorney who has a lot of experience representing clients in these kinds of cases.
Examples of Multi-Party Liability in Truck Accidents
These are just a couple of scenarios where multiple parties may face liability as the result of a wreck involving a truck.
- The driver of the truck was operating the vehicle in violation of federal regulations that mandate specific rest periods. They have to make a sudden maneuver in order to miss a car in front of them. However, when they do so, the truck’s cargo suddenly shifts to one side, causing the rig to roll over. In this instance, the driver will be liable for driving while fatigued. And the loading company will be liable for failing to properly secure the load.
- A driver is following all of the rules but still loses control due to a blown out tire, or a defective brake line. The company that manufactured the tire or brakes could face liability. If the equipment failure was due to a lack of proper maintenance, you may be able to sue the trucking company or the third-party mechanic.
How to Prove a Party’s Negligence
You’re going to need proof that the accident wasn’t your fault. You’re also going to need to show what specific parties should be held accountable for the wreck. In order to do this, a thorough investigation will need to be conducted as quickly as possible. The only way that will happen will be if you hire an attorney as soon as you can.
Receiving Compensation from Multiple Liable Parties
But a truly skilled attorney won’t just be able to conduct a detailed investigation. They’ll also be able to defeat all of the tricks that insurance companies will often try to play.
The insurance policies that cover huge trucks are often huge themselves – as much as $1 million, or possibly even more. That means you can expect the insurer to aggressively defend that policy, since the stakes are so high. But a strong attorney will be just as aggressive. And they’ll know how to handle whatever tactics the insurance company tries to use.
Contact a Talented Attorney at Penn Kestner & McEwen for Help with Your Truck Accident Case
Don’t hesitate to speak with a Penn Kestner & McEwen attorney immediately so we can get to work on your case. While no reputable law firm will ever make any promises, we do guarantee that we’ll do everything we possibly can to help you obtain full and fair compensation.