After a trucking accident, there are several parties you might be able to sue. Depending on the way your accident happened, you may be able to sue the truck driver, the trucking company, the owner of the truck or another driver. Sometimes you can sue a manufacturer.
You don’t always have to file a lawsuit to get money to pay for your injuries after a trucking accident. Trucking companies and other drivers do carry insurance, and many cases are resolved through an insurance negotiation. If you have been in a trucking accident, it is important to get professional advice from a car accident lawyer as soon as you can.
Who is liable for my injuries after a trucking accident?
When someone is found liable for an accident, it is usually because they were “negligent.” Negligence doesn’t mean anyone did anything on purpose. It just means that someone didn’t live up to their legal duty to be reasonably careful and follow traffic laws. A person can be negligent, and so can a business.
In a trucking accident, there are many people whose negligence might have caused or contributed to the accident. They might include:
- The truck driver. A truck’s driver can be found liable for negligent driving practices such as speeding, distracted driving, aggressive driving, and driving while intoxicated. If the driver works for himself as an independent contractor, the driver may be the only one responsible.
- The trucking company. There are several ways a trucking company might be held liable. For example, a company is usually liable for its employee’s actions while on the job. Or it might have been negligent in hiring or supervising its driver or maintaining its trucks. Or it might be at fault for requiring a driver to work long hours that caused him to fall asleep while driving.
- The owner of the truck. Sometimes, trucking companies lease trucks from someone else. A truck’s owner might be liable for putting a truck on the road that was unsafe, poorly maintained, or missing mirrors and other safety equipment.
- A manufacturer, government entity or other third party. Sometimes, investigation shows that someone is at fault who you wouldn’t suspect at first. For example, a manufacturer might be liable if the accident was caused by defectively manufactured tires. A repair facility might be liable if the tires were not installed correctly. And the government agency in charge of maintaining the road might be liable if it ignored a dangerous condition that caused the accident.
- Another driver. Another driver’s negligence may have caused the accident.
Getting to the root of these issues is not always easy, and this is one reason it is important to work with an experienced trucking accident lawyer.
Why are trucking accidents so complicated?
Trucking accidents are complicated because there are many potential parties at fault and the injuries are typically more serious than in an ordinary car accident.
A semi-truck is much larger than the vehicles it shares the road with, and it far outweighs a passenger car. This means it can cause widespread destruction and injuries in an accident. Many trucking accidents are fatal. Injuries from a serious car accident are complicated and expensive to diagnose and treat. Doctors may not know the full extent of the damage for months, especially in cases of head or spinal cord injuries. Experts may be needed to calculate the cost of a disability or fatality.
There may be insurance coverage for a trucking accident, but insurance companies are typically eager to avoid responsibility. When they do pay, they can only pay up to the limits of the insurance policy. Trucking companies carry policies with large limits, but an ordinary driver may not have enough coverage to pay the full cost of the accident. This means that trucking accidents are more likely to require additional investigation to prove who was at fault and uncover ALL the parties who may potentially be liable.
Because of these complexities, it is important to have an experienced lawyer handling your insurance claim and car accident law suit around Atlanta. A lawyer knows the laws of liability and understands the schemes that insurance companies use to avoid having to pay. A large law firm has the resources to fully investigate your accident and your injuries and get you the full amount you are entitled to – from whoever is at fault.
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