Who is Liable for a Truck Accident?
Who is Liable for a Truck Accident

Who is Liable for a Truck Accident?

When determining liability in a truck accident, you must file a claim or a lawsuit against the proper defendant. The person or entity you sue should be the one whose actions were the cause of your accident, and there may even be multiple parties to blame. It is critical to hire an experienced truck accident attorney in State College as soon as possible after the accident so that they can perform a complete investigation. Otherwise, you may hamper your legal claim before you get off the ground. Here are some potential defendants you can sue in a truck accident case.

The Trucking Company

Trucking companies are the most likely defendants in a lawsuit. As soon as the truck driver gets behind the wheel, they become an agent of the trucking company. In legal terms, the trucking company is responsible for any action the truck driver takes. If the truck driver is negligent, this becomes the act of the trucking company.

It does not make much economic sense to sue a truck driver individually because they will not have enough money to pay for your damages. Your case may be worth seven figures, and it is not money that the truck driver has in their bank account. Trucking companies usually carry at least $1 million in insurance coverage and have assets you can pursue in a judgment. Thus, they are the ones that you want to sue.

Trucking companies become liable when they or their driver are negligent. Negligence means that the truck driver or trucking company did something unreasonable under the circumstances, and in any personal injury case, you need to prove negligence to win. Examples of negligence include:

  • Failure to brake in time and rear-ending a vehicle
  • Not correctly checking blind spots before changing lanes
  • Causing an accident while fatigued because the driver was working late at night
  • Losing control of a truck because the driver was speeding

How Trucking Companies May Be Negligent

A trucking company may be negligent by doing (or not doing) the following:

  • Not inspecting or maintaining the vehicle and keeping it in roadworthy condition
  • Failure to properly screen a driver before hiring them or terminating them when they have a poor safety record
  • Pressuring a truck driver to make a delivery in time when they are fatigued or should not be driving
  • Subcontracting work to companies with poor track records for safety

Potentially Liable Third Parties

There may also be various third parties who may also be liable. Smaller trucking companies or owner-operators may work with third parties. For example, they may not have the resources to inspect and repair trucks. A third party was responsible for repairs, and they may have done careless and shoddy work. You can still sue the trucking company when it negligently hired or retained a third party.

Product Liability Lawsuits Against Manufacturers

File Lawsuits Against Manufacturers

The truck itself may have been the cause of the truck accident. A defective part, such as the brakes or steering, may have been to blame for what happened. Then, you can sue the manufacturer, seller, or anyone else in the stream of commerce in a product liability lawsuit. To win a product liability case, you need to prove that there was a defect that caused the accident. These highly technical and scientific cases require an experienced attorney who has previously handled these types of cases.

The Government or an Engineer

The government or an engineer can be liable for the road’s condition. You can sue the government when they have negligently failed to maintain the road reasonably. The government must repair the road within a reasonable amount of time after they know or should have known about the problem. In addition, an engineer or construction company can also be legally responsible for road defects.

A Truck Accident Attorney Can Determine the Responsible Party

You need to know who was responsible and have evidence to back up your claims before you file a claim or lawsuit. As the plaintiff or claimant, you have the burden of proof in your case. You should hire an experienced truck accident lawyer right after the truck accident so they can begin an extensive investigation of what happened. Your attorney will determine the responsible parties so you can file a truck accident lawsuit.

You should name all potentially responsible parties to the lawsuit. First, you want to ensure that nobody escapes and avoids accountability for what they did to you. Second, your goal is to maximize your financial compensation; multiple defendants means more pockets to access.

Damages in a Truck Accident Lawsuit

If you qualify for truck accident compensation, you may receive the following in damages:

  • Damage Truck

    Medical bills

  • Lost income
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Embarrassment and humiliation

If a loved one dies in a truck accident, your family can file a wrongful death lawsuit. Once you can prove that someone was responsible for what happened, your family can qualify for wrongful death damages. The estate can also file a survival lawsuit to recover the damages that the deceased person suffered between the time of their injury and their death.

Hire a Truck Accident Attorney As Soon As Possible

When you hire a truck accident lawyer to handle your case, they work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they only get paid if they win your case. If they successfully obtain a settlement or win a verdict on your behalf, they will take a percentage of the recovery as their fee. However, you do not owe them anything if they do not secure compensation for you. Thus, money should never be an issue when you need legal help in your case.

Having a lawyer on your side can significantly increase your chances of receiving fair compensation. They will handle all the legal aspects of your case, including gathering evidence, negotiating with insurance companies, and litigating in court if necessary. They have the experience and knowledge to navigate truck accident law and will protect your rights. Contact a trusted personal injury attorney in State College with experience in truck accident cases to discuss your options.

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