If you spend any time on the road, you know just how devastating truck accidents are for their victims. It's nearly impossible to drive down I-75 without encountering a serious truck accident sooner or later. When you're the one stuck in traffic, such accidents are nuisances, but usually only that. However, when you are the victim of a truck accident, it is a true emergency.
Truck accidents often leave victims with extensive injuries that require multiple medical procedures and ongoing treatment in order for them to recover, even partially. While the victims undergo numerous treatments to address their injuries, the medical bills pile up while their income usually slows to a trickle — if they still have income at all. Without a fair settlement that fully compensates a victim for his or her losses, it is often very difficult to recover from truck accidents financially.
If you recently suffered injuries in a truck accident, it is very wise to consider filing a personal injury claim to cover your expenses and losses. However, it is not always simple to know which parties to include in the suit. With truck accidents, a number of parties may bear liability.
The driver and the employer
The most obvious defendants in a truck accident are the driver of the truck and the company that hired him or her to haul their cargo. If the driver works as an independent contractor, the hiring company may not hold much liability in the accident. But if the driver employed by a shipping company as a drive, the company may be on the hook for the liabilty.
This relationship is not always easy to assess. In general, shipping companies prefer to use independent contractor drivers because it limits the shipping company's liability. However, the company may misclassify their drivers as independent contractors. In any subsequent claim, this could potentially give you the opportunity to object to the misclassification, depending on the driver's specific circumstances.
Other liable parties
Depending on the circumstances that caused orcontributed to the accident, several other parties may face liability in your claim. If, for instance, the load shifted from where it was secured to the flatbed trailer, this may have caused the accident. In this case, you should seek out the party that packed the load and secured it, as they may hold liability for the accident.
Similarly, if a component of the truck malfunctions or a repair to the truck does not hold, then the producer of the malfunctioning part or the party that performed the repair may hold liability.
Protecting your interests and rights after a truck accident is not a simple matter. Be sure that you fully understand the many intricate issues at hand as you prepare your claim and seek complete recovery and full compensation.