If you’ve been injured in an accident with a commercial truck, don’t make the mistake of trying to handle a claim yourself. Personal injury cases that involve trucks are rarely straightforward, and determining and proving fault is almost impossible without a dedicated professional.
You should contact a semi truck accident attorney or truck accident law firm as quickly as possible, but for now, here’s a basic understanding of liability when it comes to truck accidents.
The responsibility falls on you and your semi truck accident attorney to prove that a person connected to the truck was negligent, causing the crash. There are several parties that may be at fault:
- The Truck Driver: There are several situations in which a truck driver could be found liable for the accident. Some truck drivers disable the front brakes to reduce wear and tear on the vehicle, for instance. If a brake issue caused your accident, a driver who disabled their front brakes would likely be liable. Drivers may also be liable if they’re working hours that are over their legal limits, or operating without sleep.
- The Truck or Trailer Owner: The owner of the vehicle may share some responsibility if they failed to maintain the truck or trailer or didn’t repair faulty equipment. If an issue with the mechanisms of the truck was to blame for the accident, you and your truck accident lawyer might be able to go after the owner.
- The Lease Holder: The company that leased the truck may be at fault if they forced the driver to drive for longer than their legal limit, or didn’t get the truck taken in for repairs.
- The Manufacturer: If a faulty part was to blame, you might be able to hold the manufacturer of that part responsible for the accident. Of course, this is only the case when you can tie the cause or severity of the accident to a specific part.
- The Shipper/Loader: If cargo came loose or a trailer detached, the person or organization that loaded the cargo may be held accountable.
Since all of these parties are likely to start blaming each other when you go after them, it’s always good to have a semi truck accident attorney on your side who can sort through the mess.