When a truck accident occurs, and negligence on the part of one or more parties was to blame, injured victims have the right to seek damages by filing a personal injury lawsuit. A number of possible defendants may be named in these lawsuits, including the truck driver, the trucking company, the truck maintenance company, parts manufacturers, municipalities in charge of maintaining the roads – it all depends on the circumstances of the crash and who was to blame. If these or other parties are liable for their injuries, plaintiffs can pursue monetary compensation for losses resulting from the crash, such as the cost of past, present, and future medical bills, lost wages from time missed at work, and more. For legal purposes, it’s not enough to suspect that someone was at fault for the crash; it has to be proven with evidence. Hobbs Law Group has the experience and resources to investigate every aspect of your crash, identify all of the potentially at-fault parties, and collect the evidence needed to prove their liability. We know how to undermine the arguments of deep-pocketed truck accident defendants and protect you from insurance company tricks. If you need a truck wreck lawyer, call our offices anytime to schedule a free case review.
Who Are the Possible Defendants in a Truck Accident?
There are typically more potential defendants after a truck crash than with most regular passenger vehicle accidents. Defendants in a truck accident lawsuit may include:
The driver of the truck
The driver may have caused the accident by acting negligently. Examples include:
- Making an unsafe lane change
- Texting while driving
- Driving under the influence
- Falling asleep at the wheel
- Sideswiping you while making a wide turn
Another example of when the truck driver may be liable is if the truck’s cargo exceeded the state or federally imposed weight limit, and that was a factor in your accident. It should be noted that not all truck drivers have sufficient insurance coverage to pay for all of the damages that you incur, so you may need to identify other defendants as well.
The trucking company
You can impute the driver’s negligence to the driver’s employer and sue that company under the theory of vicarious liability. In other words, the trucking company is held accountable for the driver’s mistakes. Trucking companies generally have better insurance coverage and more assets with which to cover the damages you incur. Keep in mind that in order to sue the trucking company, the driver must have been operating the truck within the scope and course of employment when the crash occurred. What this means is that the truck driver must have been on the clock and performing duties inherent to his or her job description.
The manufacturer of the truck
If the crash was caused – either fully or partially – by a defective part, then the manufacturer may be held liable. For example, if the lock gate securing the truck’s cargo malfunctioned and broke, caused its contents to spill out into the road, and that was what caused your crash, then the manufacturer of the truck may be a defendant in your lawsuit for having manufactured or designed a defective product. While the manufacturer of the truck may have deeper pockets and a better insurance policy than the truck driver, manufacturers generally put up a fight in these lawsuits, meaning that hiring the right attorney can make a significant difference in your case.
Other drivers on the road
Even if you were hit by a truck, that does not necessarily mean that the truck driver did anything wrong. For example, if another driver ran a red light and the truck driver sideswiped you when he swerved while trying to avoid the other driver, it is possible that the other driver would be found liable for the accident. In this example, the other driver may be the only defendant in your case. However, if the truck driver had been driving drunk and was speeding at the time the other driver ran the red light, then the other driver may only be partially responsible.
One example of this would be the city government, and you would need to draw a link showing that that entity’s wrongdoing is what caused the crash. For example, if a fire hydrant exploded six hours ago and has been causing flooding on the road ever since, and nothing has been done to fix the problem, block off the road, or advise approaching drivers of the dangerous condition, then the government may be liable if that flooding caused your crash.
Positives and Negatives to Multiple Defendants
One benefit to having multiple defendants in a truck accident lawsuit is that it is more likely that at least one of the defendants will be able to pay for the damages you are owed. On the other hand, if it is unclear as to the proportion of the fault between multiple defendants, then your case may be more challenging to litigate.
Hiring the Right Attorney Is Key
If you or a loved one were injured in a truck accident, we invite you to call Hobbs Law Group as soon as possible after the collision to see how we can be of service. Especially when multiple defendants may be involved, the experienced semi-truck accident lawyers at our firm can hit the ground running and immediately start investigating to determine which party or parties to sue. Over the last decade, our attorneys have recovered more than $10 Million in settlements and jury verdicts on behalf of our valued personal injury clients.
Your choice of truck accident attorney matters. Call Hobbs Law Group today to schedule a zero-cost consultation. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain, as our clients owe us no attorney fees unless we prevail in their case.