Accidents involving semi-trucks or other large vehicles are more complex than the average car accident case. In most auto accidents, the only parties involved in the lawsuit are the drivers of the vehicles and their insurance companies.
In an accident involving an 18-wheeler, there are many more people and entities who could be responsible for paying damages in a lawsuit. If you were involved in a semi-truck accident, it is important to hire a personal injury attorney who understands all of the players involved in large truck cases.
Like any other accident, the truck driver who caused the collision can be held liable in a lawsuit. While the driver could be held personally responsible, the majority of truck drivers have auto insurance which will cover any damages owed.
Truck Driver’s Employer
Although some truck drivers own their trucks and operate their own businesses, many truckers work for a trucking company. The employer of a truck driver who causes an accident while on the job can be held responsible for its employee’s actions.
It can sometimes be difficult to determine whether a trucker was actually acting as an employee when the accident occurred. If the truck driver was not transporting a load at the time of the accident, his or her regular employer might claim it has no liability.
Owner of the Truck
Semi-trucks are incredibly expensive vehicles to own and maintain. As a result, many truckers will lease their vehicles from their employer or another entity. There may also be multiple leases and subleases related to the ownership of the vehicle.
If any of the people or entities who own the truck failed to maintain or regularly inspect the vehicle, and if that failure contributed to the accident, those parties may also be liable in an injury lawsuit.
Owner of the Cargo
In some cases, the person or entity in charge of the cargo may be responsible for an accident. For instance, if the load was not properly secured and came off the truck, the company in charge of loading the vehicle could be held liable. In other cases, the owner of the cargo or the company receiving the shipment may face some responsibility if the driver was improperly pressured to break the law in order to make a delivery faster.
When a vehicle is as large as a semi-truck, proper maintenance is crucial. Trucking companies may use a maintenance company or contract with other professionals to keep the truck in working order. If a mechanical failure caused the accident, the maintenance company might be named in the injury lawsuit.
Help for Injured People
After an injury caused by a semi-truck, it is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible. Trucking accident cases are complex and it takes an experienced lawyer to sort through issues regarding liability.
If you were injured in a trucking accident, contact Blackburn & Green today. Our attorneys will look for all parties who may be at fault for a truck accident and will help you seek fair compensation for your injuries. To schedule your free consultation with the Indiana truck accident attorneys at Blackburn & Green, fill out our online case evaluation form or call our office at (800) 444-1112 or (260) 422-4400.