Semi-Truck accidents can cause serious injury to drivers and passengers on the road. Following a trucking accident, it is imperative that you contact an attorney who is experienced with this type of crash for various reasons. A semi-truck accident attorney can help you with every stage of a lawsuit so that you can recover for your injuries and receive the maximum possible settlement. However, sometimes even determining who to bring a claim against in the first place is complicated because liability in a truck accident can be complex.
Possible Liable Parties in an Accident
There are several people and/or companies that may be held liable in a trucking accident, and who you sue depends on several different circumstances. For example, was the truck driver an employee or an independent contractor? Was the truck owned by the driver or by a company? Was the truck properly maintained? Was the cargo in the truck properly loaded? Was the accident due to negligence or recklessness on the part of the driver?
There are so many questions primarily because there are several possible causes of truck accidents. These common causes include:
- Driver error: common driver errors include speeding, following cars too closely, dangerous lane changes, failure to obey traffic signs, failure to adapt to adverse weather or road conditions, failure to stay in a lane, fatigued driving, distracted driving, or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Improper cargo loading: cargo that is not properly secured can shift and cause a truck to roll over or for a driver to lose control.
- Improper inspection or maintenance: trucks should be regularly and adequately inspected and maintained. Brake failure, tire blowouts, and trailer attachments are commonly malfunctioning truck parts that can cause serious, fatal accidents.
Once your lawyer determines the exact cause of the truck accident, she can help you decide which parties to sue. Possible liable parties often include the driver, truck owner, truck manufacturer, manufacturer of specific defective parts on the truck, 3rd party companies that perform truck maintenance, the owner or loader of the cargo, or the company who leases the truck or employs the driver.
As you can see, deciding who to bring a claim against can require extensive investigation and complicated questions. A lawyer experienced in accidents involving large trucks and semi-trucks has the knowledge and experience necessary to handle this claim for you. It is important to do this as soon as possible to help ensure all evidence is preserved.