Who is Sued in a Semi-Truck Accident Lawsuit?
Being involved in a semi-truck accident can be particularly catastrophic. The sheer size and weight can have devastating consequences for a much smaller, lighter passenger vehicle. You may experience significant injuries and property damages in a semi-truck accident. If the truck driver or another party’s negligence led to the accident that caused your injuries, you might need to file a personal injury lawsuit to get compensation for your losses.
Oftentimes, when you’re dealing with a commercial vehicle, there is more than one party who is responsible for your injuries. In addition, commercial trucks and trucking companies also are subject to various state and federal laws and regulations that make personal injury cases extremely complex. Therefore, getting the assistance of a semi-truck accident lawyer for your personal injury lawsuit can be crucial to a successful case.
Suing the Driver
In any motor vehicle accident, the most obvious liable party is the driver of the vehicle who caused the accident that led to your injuries. For example, if the semi-truck driver who caused the accident was self-employed and owned his semi-truck or was working for a company as an independent contractor, you would file your lawsuit against the truck driver and look to his insurance carrier for payment.
Suing the Trucking Company
In the majority of these cases, the semi-truck driver is working for a third-party employer and using a truck owned by his employer, usually a trucking company. Since the driver was working at the time of the accident, the trucking company would be vicariously liable for the driver’s actions. Therefore, you would file your lawsuit against the driver individually, the trucking company that employed the driver, and employer’s insurance company.
Suing Other Potentially Liable Parties
While the truck driver and the trucking company who employs the driver are the most common people you sue in a semi-truck accident lawsuit, some situations may result in you suing other parties. Whether these third parties are liable in your situation depends on the facts of your case and the cause of your accident.
Third-Party Maintenance Companies
Trucking companies sometimes rely on third-party companies to inspect and maintain their fleet of trucks. If the maintenance company fails to properly inspect a truck or repair a problem in a truck, it could later malfunction. If the truck malfunction leads to an accident, the maintenance company could share liability for the accident.
Third-party cargo companies are often responsible for loading cargo onto trucks. If they overload a truck or improperly load the cargo and it causes the truck to tip over, jack-knife or otherwise malfunction, the third-party cargo company could be liable for your injuries.
Truck and Truck Parts Manufacturers
Some semi-truck accidents are caused by defective trucks and truck parts. If your accident occurred partially or entirely due to a truck malfunction or the failure of a defective truck part, you might have a claim against the manufacturer.
Suppose a roadway hazard or other dangerous elements, such as a malfunctioning traffic light or missing traffic sign, led to the semi-truck crash that caused your injuries. In that case, you could have a claim against a governmental entity, such as a city or state.
If your semi-truck accident involved multiple vehicles, whether commercial or privately-owned, the other driver(s) might be at fault for causing the accident. In that case, you could have a claim against those drivers.
We Are Here to Handle Your Semi-Truck Accident Case
We know how confusing and overwhelming it can be in the aftermath of a catastrophic semi-truck accident. You are likely trying to determine the extent of your injuries and your options for treatment, deal with property damage to your vehicle, and handle various legal matters. Your semi-truck truck accident attorney at Gallagher & Kennedy, P.A. is here to help you throughout the process of filing a claim and getting compensation for your losses after a semi-truck accident. Call us today at 602-530-8400 or visit us online. Allow us to handle your legal matters while you focus on recovering from your injuries.