Table Of Contents
- Who Can be Sued in a Truck Accident Case?
- The Truck Driver
- The Truck Driver’s Employer or the Truck Owner
- Manufacturers of the Truck
- Maintenance Companies
- Truck Repair Shop
- Shippers or Freight Loaders
- Other Drivers on the Road
- Experienced and Knowledgeable Indiana Lawyer Knows Who Can Be Sued in a Truck Accident Case
Who Can be Sued in a Truck Accident Case?
Accidents involving big rigs (also known as 18 wheelers or semi-trucks) can cause serious injuries to drivers and passengers in nearby cars. Remember, a fully loaded big rig can weigh up to 18,000 pounds. Therefore, if a semi-truck accident injures you or a loved one, you will need the help of an experienced truck accident lawyer to determine who can be sued in a truck accident case.
In fact, several parties associated with the trucking company could be found liable for a truck accident
The goal of an investigation into fault is to identify all the possible parties that could be sued for negligently causing the accident. Remember, this is important. One at-fault party’s insurance coverage may not be enough to cover the full extent of your damages. Therefore, your personal injury lawyers need to identify all the parties who contributed to causing the accident.
The Truck Driver
The driver of the truck may be the lone negligent party who caused your accident. However, the driver may not have enough insurance coverage to cover your damage. This can happen if the driver is self-employed and is only covered under their own personal insurance policy.
There are many negligent acts that truck drivers do that cause accidents. For instance, speeding on a curve can cause the truck to roll-over.
As another example, speeding on roads which are wet, icy and/or snow-covered can lead to accidents.
In addition, as in any other motor vehicle accident, distracted driving by the truck driver can cause an accident.
Lastly, drivers who are fatigued are not as aware of their surroundings and have slower reaction times. As a result, driver fatigue is a frequent cause of accidents.
The Truck Driver’s Employer or the Truck Owner
When a trucking company acts negligently, it may require drivers to operate their trucks beyond their legal time log limits. Additionally, the truck company may hire improperly trained drivers or fail to train the drivers they already employ.
As another example, the truck owner may not properly inspect their fleet of trucks.
The law requires trucking companies to regularly screen their drivers for drug use. If they don’t do so, a drug-impaired truck driver can cause an accident. Consequently, the personal injury lawyers for any injured victims will sue the trucking company.
Notwithstanding the above, in most instances, the driver’s employer is also vicariously responsible for actions their truck driver. this includes any accidents they cause.
Moreover, trucking companies are regulated by federal laws. Indeed, the law requires them to take specific safety measures regarding their trucks and drivers to prevent truck accidents.
If a trucking company violates of those laws, the company can be sued for the property damages, injuries or wrongful death resulting from any accident.
Consequently, injured parties can file an insurance claim against the truck owner. The truck owner will likely be the trucking company itself.
Manufacturers of the Truck
A truck manufacturer who builds trucks with defective parts which cause an accident can be held liable.
Since there may be many different manufacturers for parts of the truck’s cab and trailer, there could be multiple manufacturers at fault.
Any defect in a truck’s manufacturing or design could lead to an accident. For instance, a trailer hitch could fail, resulting in an accident.
A trucking company may hire a maintenance company to maintain its fleet of trucks. If the maintenance company doesn’t do the job right, and causes an accident, victims can sue the maintenance company.
Truck Repair Shop
Likewise, a truck may have been damaged and had to be repaired. After those repairs, the truck caused an accident, injuring people. If the repairs were not carried out properly and caused the accident, personal injury lawyers can recover damages from repair shop.
Shippers or Freight Loaders
Assume a shipper loaded the freight unsafely and caused the truck to roll over. Any persons injured in the accident could sue the shipping company. If your injuries or the death of a loved one has been caused because of a truck accident involving a hazardous goods carrier, a truck accident attorney can sue the shipper of the goods in the truck accident case.
The law requires shippers of HAZMAT goods to advise the trucking companies about those goods. If they fail to do so, they can be sued for the injuries caused by a truck accident carrying their shipment.
Other Drivers on the Road Can Cause Truck Accidents
Of course, other drivers can drive negligently. For instance, a driver in a passenger vehicle could cut off an 18 wheeler. That causes it to swerve sharply to avoid a collision with the passenger vehicle.
As a result, the 18 wheeler could roll over or jackknife.
In that instance, witnesses could tell the police the passenger vehicle cutoff the truck. Or maybe the police will test that driver and find he/she was impaired by drugs or alcohol.
In that case, any person injured when the truck jackknifed or rolled over could sue the passenger car driver.
Experienced and Knowledgeable Indiana Lawyer Knows Who Can Be Sued in a Truck Accident Case
If you, a close friend or a loved one have been injured in a truck accident in Indiana, you need an experienced Indiana truck accident attorney. As you can see from the above, an accident involving large trucks is complicated. Certainly, more complicated than an accident involving passenger cars.
We will investigate the accident, determine who caused the accident and fight to get you the compensation you deserve from the truck driver’s insurance company. Contact us at our Hammond office at 219-200-2000 or online at alexmendozalaw.com for a free consultation.