Determining who is at fault and liable for damages following a commercial truck accident can feel like an endless stint on a teeter-totter. On one side sits an injured victim or the family of someone killed in a truck crash. The other side is intermittently occupied by the truck driver, his or her trucking company or possibly the shipper of the freight that was a factor in an accident. While it may seem difficult to stop the back and forth of establishing liability after a crash with a commercial vehicle, experienced lawyers can help.
Understand Driver Negligence
The size and weight of commercial vehicles cause significant damage and severe injuries to other drivers and passengers when trucking accidents occur. While vehicle defects, weather conditions or other factors may play a part in causing crashes with commercial trucks, many times driver negligence is the true culprit of the accident. Liability for accident-related damage and injuries can be proven by showing the operator failed to drive with reasonable care, which is owed to others on the road, and this breach directly caused the crash, resulting in injuries or deaths.
Involve Commercial Trucking Companies
Under the legal theory of respondent superior, commercial trucking companies may be held liable for their drivers' negligent actions when they cause accidents. By showing that an employment relationship existed between the driver and the company, and that a driver was operating the commercial vehicle as part of his or her work duties, a car crash victim may be able to recover compensation from the trucking company. If a trucker is a contract employee, the degree of company supervision becomes a key issue.
Look Into Shipper Cargo
Commercial vehicles sometimes carry hazardous or flammable cargo. When collisions occur between passenger cars and trucks transporting dangerous materials, the results can be even more devastating - for example, causing burns on top of other accident-related injuries. Shippers or manufacturers of these hazardous substances may be held legally responsible for any additional damages or injuries their cargo causes, especially if they do not warn the truck driver or trucking company about the possible dangers of a particular load or material.
Hire Experienced Legal Help
For victims of commercial vehicle accidents, knowing who to hold accountable can make a tremendous difference in the amount and type of damages that courts may award. To avoid an extended ride on the liability teeter-totter, victims should hire experienced legal counsel right away. A lawyer may be able to investigate and determine all of the responsible parties who contributed to a person's injuries.
If either you or your loved one was recently involved in an accident involving a commercial truck, contact a personal injury attorney in your area.