Proving responsibility for causing a truck accident is central to all personal injury claims. These accidents are clearly the most complicated and serious of all highway mishaps. While almost every driver on the roadways understands that they do have a legal claim against the truck’s driver when they are largely not at fault for causing the crash, there are still other negligent actors who could potentially be pursued for damages.
The victims in other vehicles are rarely at fault in truck accidents (Source: https://www.johnfoy.com/truck-accident-lawyer/). Truck drivers are the obvious first line of financial recovery pursuit, and especially when they are owner-operators who are contracted with a transportation company. However, there are others who may well be at fault for causing the accident, including other drivers who may have been involved, a trucking company, or a manufacturer.
Let’s take a look at some of the other potential liable parties. You can ask your attorney if you are eligible for compensation from one or all of these potential defendants.
Trucking Company Liability
The first party that could possibly be sued beyond the truck driver is their employing transportation company. Many shipping companies force their drivers to operate close to the limit in hours on any particular day. And even with electronic control of the big rig, drivers still find ways to skirt the law when a delivery time will result in a bonus payment for timely delivery.
In addition, operators are also required to make regular inspections of the trailer and rig during the trip on a daily basis, but this is also a task that causes delays that the shipping company employer wants to avoid. Orders from the transportation company can often establish vicarious liability on the part of the employer.
Shipment Contracting Company
The next party to consider in a truck accident claim with respect to legal action is the company that wanted the shipment transported. Accidents are commonly caused by shifted loads or overloaded containers, both of which can easily be the fault of the company needing the products delivered.
Failure to secure anchoring booms or stabilizing pallets in a container or on a flatbed is a common cause of truck accidents, and this usually happens with the contracting company. Drivers should also inspect the load for proper securing, which can also be evidence that the driver and the shipping company were negligent in their reasonable duty of care obligations to others on the highway.
Other Motorist Liability
Truck accidents that involve multiple vehicles can also mean those drivers can be at fault for causing a crash as well. This happens more often than people realize in truck accidents, and it can impact the value of any injuries claims. In many cases, two or more other drivers can share partial fault, and in some states you can collect compensation even if you were partly at fault.
Automotive Manufacturer Liability
Many times truck accidents occur due to defective automotive parts such as air bag inflators or braking system failure. Recent problems with seat belts have also contributed to this problem that is increasing across the nation. This is an issue that is rarely investigated by accident reconstruction officers, and it commonly takes an in-depth investigation by an experienced and detail-driven truck accident attorney to uncover these problems.
There is no way to know how many possible defendants you may have in your case without an attorney’s help. Lawyers who specialize in truck accident cases understand this area of the law, and they know how to find the evidence that will build a strong case.