Understanding Truck Accident Liability
Truck accidents can be terrifying, leading to a wide variety of debilitating injuries. A gas tank rupture can result in a devastating explosion, resulting in excruciating burn injuries. Any kind of truck accident can cause injuries so severe that a victim’s medical bills could quickly accumulate to an astronomically high amount.
If this has happened to you, there are several parties that could be held liable for the accident, and be forced to provide you with compensation. This compensation can go toward not only covering your medical expenses, but other damages that you may incur as well, such as lost wages, pain and suffering and more.
In order to have the best chance of obtaining that compensation, however, you’re going to need the help of an attorney who has a lot of experience navigating the complexities of truck accidents. That’s exactly what you’ll get when you choose the law firm of McEwen & Kestner. We have a deep understanding of these kinds of cases, and we deliver significant results on behalf of our clients on a regular basis.
Please contact us online or call 651-224-3833.
How is Truck Accident Liability Different from Car Accident Liability?
Car accidents can obviously cause horrible injuries, just like truck accidents. A rear-end wreck, for example, can leave a victim with severe neck damage. A head-on collision can cause a traumatic brain injury, robbing a victim of their quality of life.
In most cases, however, the injuries associated with a truck injury are even worse. Since commercial trucks are so much larger and heavier than passenger vehicles, the forces unleashed on those inside the car are much stronger. They cause more bodily damage in the process.
Trucking companies, therefore, often face much greater liability. The insurance policies they carry are much more expensive – up to $1 million or even more. While that means truck accident victims may be able to obtain a lot more money, that also means the trucking company, as well as their insurer, will defend that policy very aggressively.
That’s why you’re going to need a skilled legal representative by your side, one who knows how to not only take on this type of formidable opposition, but also win.
Parties that Could be Liable for a Trucking Accident
Another reason truck accidents are more complex is that there are more potentially liable parties. These are just a few of them.
- The manufacturer of a defective part. Suppose, for instance, that the accident that hurt you took place because a defective tire blew out. In this instance, the company that manufactured the tire could be held liable for causing the accident.
- The truck driver. Most trucking accidents occur due to some sort of negligence committed by the driver. They might have been behind the wheel while extremely fatigued, because they drove far too long – in clear violation of federal regulations. The driver might have even been impaired due to drinking alcohol or taking powerful drugs. You may be able to take action against the driver if any of that proves to be the case.
- The trucking company. That driver might not have even been qualified to operate such a huge, complicated vehicle as a commercial truck. Or, the brakes or tires failed due to a lack of maintenance. In either scenario, the company that owns the truck could be held responsible.
- The cargo loaders. There are lots of instances where third-party companies hired by trucking operations will load the trailer of the rig before it gets on the road. When that third-party does a negligent job of loading, and the cargo shifts or falls out of the truck, the driver could easily lose control and collide with a car. In this case, the loading company will face liability.
Proving a Party’s Liability for Your Truck Accident
No matter who is to blame, you’re not going to be able to win a dime unless you can prove it. That’s why you need an attorney who has the experience and resources it takes to perform a thorough investigation of the accident. The faster you get in touch with that lawyer, the faster that investigation can take place. You’ll have a much better chance of obtaining the evidence needed to prove your case as a result. Once an insurance company sees that proof, it will be much more likely to offer you a fair settlement.
Is it Possible for Multiple Parties to be Liable for My Injuries?
Without a doubt. In fact, it’s the potential of multiple liable parties that makes a truck accident case so complex.
What if the accident took place because the cargo suddenly shifted, causing the driver to suddenly lose control? What if the investigation shows that not only was the cargo not properly secured, but the brakes failed? Upon further investigation, it’s revealed that the driver’s blood alcohol level was much higher than the law allows?
Not only could you sue the cargo loading company for negligence, you could also take action against the trucking company, because it failed to properly maintain the brakes. The driver would be liable at the same time.
Receiving Compensation for Your Truck Accident Injuries
If you have an effective attorney who can deliver the compelling evidence needed to prove your case, there’s a chance that you’ll be able to obtain a significant amount of compensation. But there’s also a very good chance your legal representative is going to have to fight incredibly hard to get it.
Again, insurance companies will do everything they can to protect their policy – as well as their profits. They might make a settlement offer, but it’s very likely not going to be a fair one. You’ll need an attorney who will force the insurer to offer you what your case is worth. That attorney will also need to be ready to defeat that insurer in court if a fair offer isn’t forthcoming..