You can personally sue someone after a truck accident. You might be able to sue the driver if they were responsible for the accident and your damages. However, truck accidents are sometimes complicated, and there may be several parties liable for your accident. If the driver caused the accident by fatigue, for example, the trucking company could also be partly at fault for insisting on unrealistic schedules or denying appropriate rest periods.
So, you may wish to consult with a truck accident lawyer who can advise you on your legal options and recommend a course of legal action appropriate to your individual truck accident case.
Truck Driver Liability
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), most truck accidents are driver-related. Examples of how a driver is negligent can include:
A truck driver might be distracted by eating or drinking while driving, or by an electronic device such as a phone or a tablet, for example.
A driver can entirely fail to perform driving the truck due to incapacitation. This can happen when the driver falls asleep at the wheel, for example.
Making Wrong Decisions
The driver may fail to make sound decisions while driving. They might, for example, drive too fast for road or weather conditions, or follow other vehicles too closely.
A truck driver may have consumed alcohol, illegal drugs, or prescription medicines that interfere with their ability to drive.
There can be other instances in which a truck driver may be wholly or in part responsible for an accident, and you could sue them personally after a truck accident.
Trucking Company Liability
If you are thinking of suing a liable party for your damages after a truck accident, you should not only concentrate on the driver, as other parties can also potentially be liable. In fact, even if the driver is liable, you might also be able to hold the trucking company to account, as they are usually responsible for their drivers.
How a Trucking Company Can Be Liable for Your Accident
A trucking company can be responsible in different ways, and those ways typically involve cutting corners in order to maximize profits in one way or another. A company may skip proper maintenance and servicing of trucks.
However, federal regulations from the FMCSA mandate the maintenance of trucks. A truck accident attorney, when gathering evidence and records, can potentially uncover any inconsistencies which could hold the trucking company liable.
A company could also put pressure on a driver to skip the mandated rest periods. A trucking company could also be held accountable if they are negligently hiring or not training drivers adequately. It can take some investigative work and a considerable amount of research to uncover illegal practices and liability in cases where a trucking company is involved. However, a truck accident lawyer can assist in establishing and proving liability.
Third-Party Liability in Truck Accidents
Apart from the driver and trucking company, there could be a number of third-party vendors and contractors liable for a truck accident, such as a company maintaining and servicing the vehicles, for example, or a company loading the cargo.
In addition, a manufacturer could also be to blame for any material, or part failure, or defect on the truck that occurred in manufacture. In some cases where a truck was defective, a third-party vendor or manufacturer may be entirely responsible for an accident and could have to pay out damages to anyone injured.
A Truck Accident Lawyer Can Help
While the first instinct in any type of accident may be to blame the driver, truck accidents are rarely clear-cut or easy to interpret. While a driver may be to blame, a truck company could at least be partially responsible. A third-party contractor may also be held to account if there are any defects on the truck, or maintenance work was not done to a good standard.
In a complicated truck accident, it can be difficult for a victim to determine liability. Establishing who is to blame may take some research and time, and a truck accident lawyer and expert witnesses or accident reconstruction professionals can help you.
You may wish to draw on the help of a truck accident lawyer with your case, as you might be able to hold several parties to account for your damages. We can help you weigh your legal options and advise you on your next best steps. If you have suffered extensive injuries and material damage in a truck accident, we want to not only help and get you the settlement you deserve but will also try to protect you and your family from any future losses associated with a truck accident.
We can fight for your rights and compensation. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm now and find out how you could receive compensation at (800) 794-0444.