If you’ve been involved in a trucking accident with a large commercial truck or semi truck, your mind could be spinning from the traumatic event, injuries, and damages. But who is at fault?
There are instances where the truck driver is not to blame, as they may be just another victim of the trucking industry, or where a claim may be found invalid, such as instances where someone was driving in the trucker’s blind spot when they changed lanes. No two accidents are exactly alike, and even small details can cause the liability to fall on you, the truck driver, or the trucking company itself.
A trucking accident lawyer can help you navigate these murky legal waters, where witness testimony isn’t enough to determine who is at fault. It isn’t common for truck drivers to sue other drivers for an accident, but those drivers may be found at fault if they were driving recklessly around the truck. For example, if the driver’s vehicle cuts off the truck in traffic and causes an accident that results in injuries or damages, the driver of the vehicle may be liable for the damages and injuries resulting in their negligence.
This is why expert witnesses are necessary in truck accident cases. Experts such as accident recreation specialists, use their knowledge of physics and engineering to digitally recreate the accident and accurately map out the cause and sequence of events. When you pursue legal action against a truck driver or their company, you need a team of legal experts and expert witnesses to support your claim.
Who Can You File a Claim Against?
Typically, the truck driver is the first party to be investigated after a truck accident, but they may not be the only party at fault or even at fault at all. There are more parties that can be at fault than who is listed below, so we recommend connecting with a team member at Strom Law to determine who may be liable for your accident.
The Individual Truck Driver
While trucking companies are generally responsible for the actions of their employees, you may be able to sue the individual driver. This is the case when they are directly responsible for the accident, such as driving under the influence or driving while distracted.
The Trucking Company
Trucking companies that employ drivers must adhere to stringent and specific federal regulations and safety measures. These typically include how long truck drivers are allowed to work or how much weight they can haul from destination to destination. Trucking companies are also responsible for training their drivers appropriately.
When these companies violate state and federal laws, they could be found negligent in the accident and thus responsible for damages.
The Maker or Manufacturer of the Truck or Truck’s Parts
Many accidents occur due to faulty manufacturing of the truck or its parts, or defective parts. It may be worthwhile looking into how many truck accidents are caused by tire failure, for instance, as this is one example of defective parts.
In these cases, you may be able to sue the company that either manufactures the truck involved or its parts. Your lawyer will likely investigate the truck’s history to determine whether or not one of these companies’ negligence led to the accident.
There are cases where truck accidents don’t involve any of the drivers or the trucking company. For example, if the accident occurs due to poor road conditions, damaged or missing road signage, the government body responsible for maintaining the roads could be at fault.
Other parties that could be found liable for the accident include the goods shipper, and the repair shop or mechanic that worked on the truck.
Serious injuries and even death can occur from hazardous materials a truck was carrying, which is why goods shippers must inform the drivers and their employers about the dangers of certain goods. If they do not do their due diligence, they can be sued for damages.
Truck accidents that occur as a result of issues caused by poor repairs may be able to find the mechanic or company that did said repairs responsible for the accident.
Unsure of who is at fault for your accident involving a commercial truck? Contact Strom Law today for expert guidance in your lawsuit!