Truck accidents are not only potentially very destructive, they may prove difficult to navigate for victims building a personal injury claim, especially when it comes to determining which party or parties hold liability for the accident in the first place. Like all accidents, it may take some time to sift through the evidence and build a strong case that one party or another holds liability, but truck accidents present a number of additional complications that consumer driver accidents generally do not involve.
Should you find yourself building a personal injury claim after a truck accident, it is important to consider all the potential liable parties. In many instances, an experienced attorney is a strong advocate after a truck accident, helping you scrutinize your accident and build a strong claim that properly addresses your medical expenses and other losses while protecting your rights and privileges in the meantime.
Is the truck driver responsible for the accident?
Just because an accident involves a commercial truck does not mean that the truck driver is the one responsible for causing the accident. Often, because of the immense size of the vehicles, it is difficult to remember that a truck driver is just as susceptible to other drivers' poor choices as you are, and these vehicles present many more complications when a truck driver must compensate for another person's driving mistakes.
Before you begin building your personal injury claim against the driver or some other party associated with the truck, be sure that some other party is not responsible, such as yourself or another consumer driver. If so, this may drastically change your claim or the actions you take to defend yourself against unfair claims by other parties in the accident.
What is the driver's employment relationship?
Assuming that the truck is responsible for the accident in some form or another, you must determine who is liable for the damages. Commercial truck drivers are not always employees of the businesses hiring them to drive. If they are employees, then their employer likely holds some liability for the accident. If they operate as independent contractors, then their own insurance policy may be on the hook.
Other parties may also hold liability, such as businesses that maintain or repair the truck, parts manufacturers or the business responsible for loading the trailer. If the accident occurred because of a faulty repair to the truck, the party that made the repair may hold responsibility. Likewise, a parts manufacturer who produced a part that malfunctioned and caused the accident may hold responsibility.
Loads that shift while in transit are also exceptionally dangerous, and any business that loads a trailer that later shifts may face responsibility for the accident and the resulting damages.
Build your claim carefully
With so much at stake in a commercial truck accident, it is important to build a strong claim. If you do not carefully consider each aspect of the accident, it is difficult to build a claim that fully represents your interests and protects your rights. Be sure to make your claim a priority, using all the legal tools and resources you have available.