How Fault Is Determined In A Commercial Truck Accident
Determining Fault in a Commercial Truck Accident
Determining what, or who caused a commercial accident is not always just a case of knowing who was driving the other vehicle. A commercial truck accident can have several contributing factors. To establish whether or not you have a valid personal injury claim after a truck crash, you must educate yourself on how fault is determined in a commercial truck accident. A truck accident lawyer can help with this.
Sobering Truck Driver Accident Statistics
In 2014, nearly 4,000 fatalities and over 100,000 injuries occurred as a result of vehicle crashes involving a truck, and over 400,000 commercial trucks were involved in reported truck accidents, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Unlike a passenger vehicle driver, a large truck can weigh anywhere from 10,000 to more than 26,000 lbs. Therefore, a commercial truck accident involving large trucks has the potential to cause more harm than an accident involving a car.
Bringing a Suit Against a Truck Driver or Trucking Companies
After leaving the accident scene, something to consider before filing your personal injury lawsuit is whether you will file a suit against the truck driver or the trucking company. You’ll need your police reports and all required documentation in order to pursue legal action. Unfortunately, even though a truck driver may be associated with a trucking company, many truck drivers are independent contractors, which means the trucking company is not responsible for their actions while operating large commercial vehicles. This is where a competent truck accident attorney can be quite helpful.
If you determine that the truck driver is an independent contractor, this is who you will file your truck accident claim against. When planning your case against an individual truck driver, you must be able to prove that they were at fault in your accident, usually by demonstrating distracted driving or that they were driving recklessly.
Keep in mind that proving fault and taking your case to court is a complex process and you should not go into this process unrepresented.
How to Prove Fault in a Trucking Accident for Truck Accident Claims
Reviewing the police report can be helpful in finding out who is at fault in a commercial truck accident when seeking compensation after truck crashes. A police report typically contains information such as the names of the involved parties and witnesses (if any), where the accident occurred, and most importantly, what happened. Determining who is at fault for a commercial truck accident, however, usually involves considering several potential culprits. Though many truck accidents are caused by truck driver fatigue, possible responsible parties including potentially liable parties in trucking accidents (such as the loading company) may include the following:
- the driver(s) and the owner(s) of the involved vehicles
- the company or individual who leases a truck from the owner
- the trucking company
- the manufacturer of parts for a truck that are suspected of contributing to the accident
- for trucks carrying cargo, the loader of the cargo
All of the above parties will likely be required to provide pertinent information during the accident investigation to establish fault determined in a truck accident. The trucking industry and truck companies and operators must abide by state and federal laws that ensure the safe and proper maintenance and operation of commercial trucks on and off the highways. A truck owner, operator, shipper trucking companies, the maintenance company, or truck part manufacturer can be held liable if it is determined that a commercial truck accident resulted from a violation of one of the laws governing the truck industry.
What to Do After an Accident occurred with Tractor Trailers
Severe injuries are common after a collision with large commercial trucks. In fact, any large commercial vehicle can cause devastating injuries. And unless you can prove negligence, you may have to foot the bill for your serious injuries.
First, seek medical attention immediately after an accident with a commercial truck. Once your medical needs have been met, it’s time to talk to the local authorities who will likely conduct a police investigation to assess liable parties involved. This is where you’ll want to understand that the legal process for filing a claim against a trucking company can be a tricky process.
Hiring an experienced lawyer is going to be your best bet immediately after a truck accident. These individuals will understand how determining liability works and be able to recover compensation while determining fault. Even if there is more than one party involved, property damage and medical bills are likely going to be significant. So you should take your case in for a free case review with an experienced lawyer.
Truck Accident Lawyer for Serious Accidents
Being involved in a commercial truck accident is a terrifying experience, one that can have lasting physical and emotional effects. Sometimes the trucker may be driving under the influence or going well above the speed limit which is a deadly combination. While some victims recover from the ordeal and put it behind them, others, however, even after determining fault in a commercial truck accident, are left with physical and emotional scars that never fully heal and require professional and medical treatment.
A personal injury attorney can work on your behalf to ensure your rights are protected when filing a claim against a truck company, and that responsible parties are held liable and you get adequately compensated for your pain and suffering. Your attorney can handle all the legalities of your case, leaving you free to focus solely on taking care of yourself and healing—physically and emotionally.
Contact Us for Your Personal injury Claims in a Truck Accident Case
One of our experienced and capable personal injury attorneys will readily listen to your side of the story and advise you on the best course of action, as well as all possible outcomes. Even if you have to go after the truck manufacturer, your first consultation is free with a free case evaluation, and with a sound attorney-client relationship, you have nothing to lose by calling us today to schedule an appointment or completing our contact form.