Motor-vehicle collisions involving big rigs often cause devastating injuries because of their sheer size and weight. Smaller passenger vehicles are no match for 18-wheelers, and their occupants are likely to sustain catastrophic injuries in the force of impact. Although truck accident victims have the right to pursue compensation for any damages, they must prove liability before they can recover a single dollar. In some cases, the fault is obvious, but in many others, identifying—and then proving—liability poses certain challenges. Here, an attorney from The Walker Firm explains who could be liable in a truck accident so you know what kinds of factors to consider when trying to determine fault.
The Trucker or Motor Carrier
When truckers are drunk, drowsy, or distracted while behind the wheel, they may be at fault for any collisions that result, but that does not necessarily mean they are liable for subsequent damages. In such scenarios, the trucker is only liable if he or she is an independent contractor.
Otherwise, the motor carrier who employs the trucker would likely be responsible for any damages. As long as the accident occurred while the commercial driver was acting within the scope of employment, an attorney will help injured parties file a claim with the motor carrier’s insurance provider, not with the actual trucker.
Other Potentially Liable Parties
Sometimes, neither truckers nor their employers are liable for traffic accidents. Depending on the underlying cause of the wreck, potentially liable parties include the cargo loading company, the vehicle or parts manufacturer, the maintenance company, other motorists, and the local municipality responsible for maintaining the roads. If more than one party is liable, it can complicate a case significantly, but a seasoned car accident attorney will know how to secure compensation from every at-fault party.
If you or someone in your family was hurt in a truck accident, turn to the strategic lawyers at The Walker Firm. Based in Warner Robins, GA, this practice is proud to help injured parties restore their financial security following a catastrophic crash. Personal injury law is not their only area of expertise, though. You can also turn to them for quality legal counsel regarding criminal law matters and traffic offenses. To request a free consultation with a car accident attorney on their team, visit their website or call (478) 923-4152.