Commercial truck accidents are often more devastating to victims than consumer car accidents, and also present a more complicated process for those who must file personal injury claims in the wake of the accident. Those who suffer injuries and other losses in a commercial truck accident must not only address their own recovery, but must wade through evidence from the accident to determine which party or parties hold liability.
In accidents between two cars, where both drivers own their own vehicles, filing an injury claim is usually relatively straightforward, although there are still plenty of opportunities for this type of accident to generate legal complications. However, in commercial truck accidents, the damage and the liability for that damage are often much more complex.
If you recently suffered injuries in a commercial truck accident, you must not only attend to your own recovery needs, you must make time to carefully construct your injury claim, if you have grounds to claim that some other party is liable. Careful consideration of potential defendants in a commercial truck accident may help you build a successful claim and keep your own rights and privileges secure.
Other consumer drivers
Just because the accident involved a commercial truck does not mean that the truck, its driver or any affiliated party necessarily bears liability. It is possible that another consumer driver committed a driving error or encountered a problem that caused the accident. If this is the case, you must build a compelling case quickly, to give you a better chance of receiving fair compensation from the driver’s insurance, which may not offer enough coverage to completely address your needs.
The truck driver and hiring company
If the accident arose because of the actions or negligence of the driver, and the driver is an independent operator, then he or she may face liability for the accident personally. While this is probably better than pursuing a claim against a consumer driver, it is important to understand the limitation of a driver’s insurance coverage to know what to expect from a potential settlement.
If, however, the driver operates as an employee of another company, then the employing company may hold liability. In some cases, a company may misclassify a driver as an independent contractor for their own sake, so you may need to carefully examine the relationship of the driver and hiring company to determine if it is legally valid.
Other potential defendants
A poorly secured or improperly packed load may shift within a trailer or on a flatbed while the truck is in transit, easily causing an accident. if this occurs, then the party who loaded and secured the freight may bear responsibility for the accident.
Likewise, if the accident arose because some party performed poor repairs or maintenance on the truck, then the party who performed the work may bear liability.
Be sure to consider all these options as you build your personal injury claim, to keep your rights and your interests protected while you recover.