Who is responsible if I am in a commercial truck accident?
When a consumer driver experiences an accident with a commercial truck, the damage and injuries the victims suffer are often catastrophic. Even in relatively minor accidents that only result in moderate injuries or damage, the expenses of recovering physically and the other costs to the victims can add up quickly.
If you have ever been in an accident, you may know that it is not always clear which party is actually responsible for the accident. Sometimes, more than one party may be liable.
If you were injured in an accident with a commercial vehicle, it is always wise to examine every angle of the situation. Be sure that you look at every party who may bear responsibility for the accident, not only the commercial driver.
Possible liable parties
When it comes to commercial truck accidents, the professional driver is often not the only party who may be held liable for your losses, such as medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering.
- Trucking companies: It is common for the trucking company hiring the driver to also have some responsibility depending on the nature of the company’s relationship to the driver. In some instances, where a driver is an independent contractor, the company may have limited liability or no liability at all.
- Manufacturers: It may also be that the manufacturer of the truck or the manufacturer of a certain component of the truck is to blame to some extent. This may be the case if the accident occurred because the vehicle malfunctioned or because a specific part failed.
- Maintenance and repair shops: If the truck was not properly maintained or repaired, the company responsible for the maintenance and repairs may be responsible.
- Other motorists: It is also possible that another driver made a driving error that affected the truck that struck you.
- Cargo companies: In some instances, a cargo manufacturer or packer may have some liability if the cargo load itself contributed to the accident. These kinds of suits may arise if a manufacturer did not hire the right kind of truck to haul their product, if the cargo was packed poorly and the load shifted, or if something happened in the cargo itself that affected the driver’s control of the vehicle.
Consider all the possibilities
It is important to really understand all the possibilities should you decide to pursue a personal injury claim. A legal professional can help.