Trucking accidents are among the most complex types of personal injury cases because of how many parties might share liability. That’s why hiring an experienced truck accident attorney is one of the most important things you can do if you’ve suffered an injury after being involved in a collision with a commercial truck. A skilled personal injury lawyer can navigate through all of the complexities on your behalf so you can focus on your recovery.
Penn Kestner & McEwen has a team of attorneys with extensive experience in truck accident cases. We’ll identify all of the potentially liable parties who played a role in causing your suffering, and work to help you obtain maximum compensation for your injury. Put our knowledge and skill to work for you by calling (800) 732-3070 or contacting us online to schedule a free consultation.
The following are just a few of the parties that may be at least partially responsible for the accident in which you were involved.
Most people assume that the driver of the truck is the one who is primarily to blame when an accident occurs. In many instances, that’s a correct assumption. Reckless, negligent truck drivers have caused thousands of victims to suffer needlessly, and must be held accountable. These are some of the ways the driver of a big rig can cause a devastating wreck to take place.
- Driving while fatigued
- Driving while distracted
- Disregarding road signs or traffic signals
- Medical issues that weren’t properly addressed
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
There are other times, however, where a truck driver will only be partially responsible for an accident, or the collision takes place due to circumstances beyond the driver’s control.
For example, the company that owns the truck could be liable as well. It might have hired a driver who was unqualified to be behind the wheel of a big rig, or neglected to properly train that driver. The company could have failed to maintain the truck properly, ignoring federal rules that require extensive inspections before every trip.
Drivers will often feel pressured to meet unrealistic deadlines set by the company, remaining behind the wheel for far too long – in direct violation of hours of service rules set by the federal government.
As you might expect, filing a lawsuit against a huge trucking company can be extremely difficult. Not only does the company have the resources to defend against legal action. But so does the insurance company that provides its coverage. That’s why it’s so important that you have an attorney by your side who knows how to handle such formidable opposition.
Trucking companies will often outsource the loading of their rigs to third-party businesses. But if that business fails to load a truck properly, the results could be disastrous. Cargo can shift during transit, creating an imbalance that causes the truck to tip over. When this happens, the company responsible for loading the cargo could be held liable. They could be the party that owes you money as a result.
You might have been in an accident involving a truck that was rented. The rental company could be held liable as well. For instance, the company could have failed to properly maintain the truck. As a result, an accident may have occurred due to some component malfunction. If the accident involved a moving truck, the rental company may have failed to make sure that the person driving the vehicle was qualified to do so.
Manufacturers of the Vehicle or Parts
There are some accidents that occur through no fault of the driver, the trucking company, or the company that loaded the truck. They happen because a critical part suddenly failed, causing the driver to lose control. These are just a few examples.
An attorney can perform an investigation to determine if this is the cause of your accident. If that proves to be the case, then your legal representative may be able to file a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer of that faulty part.
Your attorney can move to obtain the truck’s “black box”. This will provide critically important information as to why the accident took place. This device records data from the truck’s onboard computer system. Available information includes travel time, brake usage, tire pressure, speed, engine oil levels, and more. This information can help to “paint a picture,” so to speak, of what caused the crash.
How to Determine Truck Accident Liability
As you might expect, determining all of the liable parties in a trucking accident can be a monumental task. Unfortunately, some accident victims believe they can handle this job on their own. They would rather represent themselves than rely on an attorney.
Needless to say, they don’t find success – to put it mildly.
You will need a lot of evidence in order to prove you weren’t at fault for the accident. Additionally, you also need to know exactly which parties to sue. This means investigating the accident scene as fast as possible, interviewing witnesses, gathering footage from nearby surveillance cameras, obtaining the truck’s black box data, and much, much more.
The best way to secure evidence you need is to hire an attorney with experience in this type of case. Your attorney will need to have the resources it takes to perform that investigation, and the skill to determine what parties share the blame.
Contact an Experienced Truck Accident Attorney ASAP After Your Accident
The attorneys with Penn Kestner & McEwen have the resources, skill and experience to build the strongest case possible on your behalf. Our legal team will work tirelessly to make sure you obtain full and fair compensation for the damages, or monetary losses, you’ve incurred due to the injury you’ve suffered.