If you were in a trucking accident, you may be wondering who can be held responsible – the truck driver or the trucking company? In many cases, the negligent actions of both parties may be found at fault for the accident. But how is negligence determined in a truck accident case?
Determining liability in truck accidents can be complex as numerous parties can be at fault. However, in many incidents, there are generally two parties to blame for your injuries – the truck driver and/or the trucking company. But what proof do you need to show the trucking company, the truck driver, or both parties are responsible for your injuries?
Let’s take an example: Suppose a truck driver had been on the road for over 15 hours. The company has a policy to give an incentive to any driver who beats their deadline to deliver goods, and the driver is close to reaching the destination. But since he’s been driving for 15 hours, he’s exhausted and he begins to fall asleep behind the wheel. He doesn’t notice the traffic ahead has begun to slow down and the tractor-trailer rear ends another vehicle and causes severe injuries to the family inside.
To determine who is liable in the above example, you will need the answers to the following questions:
What many truck accident victims may not realize is that there are more than one or two potential defendants who contributed to the truck accident. Because of this, you may want to work with an experienced truck accident attorney to determine who contributed to the accident and what other third parties may be at fault.
In addition to the truck driver and the trucking company, other at-fault parties in your truck collision may include:
Due to the size and weight of semi trucks, there is an increased likelihood of fatal accidents when an incident occurs. In fact, from 2017-2019, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration found that roughly 20% of all accidents involving a semi involved only one other vehicle, meaning nearly 80% of all truck accidents include two or more other vehicles.
In order to establish liability in a truck accident claim, you must establish that the truck operator meets the four criteria for negligence. These include:
In order to establish liability, all four of these negligence criteria must be met to make sure the large truck driver is held accountable.
Establishing liability in a truck accident is complicated and that includes determining who foots the bill. Depending on the state you live in will ultimately determine the type of insurance you are required to hold.
For example, some states require no-fault insurance policies, which cover the driver’s medical bills and property damage as a result of the accident regardless of who is at fault.
However, at-fault states will require each driver’s insurance company to determine negligence for the accident; from there, the at-fault driver’s insurance must pay for all victim’s damages. In these cases, do not be shocked that the insurance companies will only want to cover the minimum.
It is important to know that if your damages exceed the maximum amount the insurance companies will cover, you may be able to seek additional compensation from the party responsible for the accident.
When it comes to truck accidents, the insurance companies of any and all parties (including your own) are going to try to minimize fault to reduce the compensation you need for your injuries. This is why it’s so important to speak with a truck accident attorney from Regan Zambri Long PLLC as soon as possible to start the investigation and to protect your rights following a truck accident. Our truck accident lawyer will be able to review the facts of the case and determine what parties are truly at fault.
Evidence is important in these cases to establish who is responsible and that’s why you need to contact a truck accident attorney as soon as possible.
Depending on the state you live in will ultimately determine what the statute of limitations is for you to file your truck accident claim. Further, if you are filing a personal injury claim, this can also impact the statute of limitations.
Your big rig accident lawyer will be able to determine the length of time you have available. Remember–if you accept an early settlement, you cannot sue.
Truck accident victims need to call the truck accident attorneys of Regan Zambri Long.
We will hold the trucking company liable, put through a trucking accident claim, and provide you with legal advice. Schedule your no-obligation, free legal consultation by calling (202) 960-4596 or sending us a message now.