Truck Accident Liability
When you are in an accident with a truck, the claims process becomes a lot more complicated, and a personal injury lawsuit has a lot more factors to consider than if you were in an ordinary passenger vehicle collision. As such, there is a lot more work that goes into filing a claim, determining liability, and possibly even splitting liability among different involved parties depending on the nature of the trucker and the company they work for.
Who Is Liable In a Truck Accident?
If the accident was caused by the trucker, not the passenger car involved in the accident, there are many different parties who are involved, and many different possibilities of who is liable. Note that there may be a shared liability, and that not all of the following parties mentioned can or will be liable in every case.
The truck driver may be determined to be liable if it was their negligence or behavior that caused the accident. This could be something as simple as a lapse in judgment that led to rear-ending a vehicle, to something as serious as a DUI or aggressive driving. Your situation will be specific, and you will need to consider every detail to determine who, if either you or the truck driver, was at fault.
The trucking company that the driver works for may have partial, if not all, liability depending on the circumstances at hand. They may have pressured the drive into violating maximum driving limits set by the federal government, or possibly overloaded the trailer in a way that made the driver unsafe, but they still felt compelled or coerced into agreeing to transport it.
If the accident was the result of improper maintenance, then the owner of the truck may be liable for any factors that contributed to the accident that should have been their responsibility. This may include proper brake care, tire replacement and upkeep, and anything else. The truck owner oftentimes is not the truck driver, and may not even be the truck company, meaning that there is now an additional party involved in the claim.
If the truck owner has leased the truck to another party, such as the trucking company, the trucker, or another party, and the issues that caused the accident were a result of their responsibility such as maintenance and upkeep, then the lease-holder may be responsible, not the owner. However, there may be situations where both the leaseholder AND owner are each responsible to a certain degree.
Owner of Trailer
In many cases, the trailer that the truck driver is towing is not owned by the same company who owns or leases the truck. If the trailer had an issue that caused the accident, and it is determined to be the fault of the trailer owner, then they will be involved in the liability process as well as any other party who was a contributing factor.
Again, the trailer may not be operated by the owner. In the case that it is leased, the lease will determine the level of liability for both the owner and the lessee.
In the case that the accident was because of a manufacturing defect or product recall, the truck manufacturer may take, or share, liability with other parties determined to be at least partially liable.
Contact Friedland & Associates Today
As you can see, there are many different combinations of liable parties that could be involved after a truck accident. As each new party enters the conversation, the process becomes exponentially more complex, and the claims process even more confusing. Instead of managing this web of legal entities, contact us today and rest easy, knowing you have an experienced truck accident attorney in Fort Lauderdale working on your case.