Who Can Be Held Responsible for a Multi-Vehicle Truck Accident?
There you are, cruising down the interstate when suddenly a trucker veers into your lane. Or maybe a commercial truck driver dozed off, and their massive trailer sent vehicles flying into the path of oncoming cars.
Truck accidents like these often involve more than one car, and it’s hard to know who is at fault, and more importantly, who can be held responsible for the damages caused by these accidents. A truck accident attorney can help you hold the responsible party or parties liable for your injury or property damage. Learn about a few of the options for filing suit against someone who was negligent in a multi-vehicle collision.
Potential Liable Parties in a Truck Accident
You may think you can hold the truck driver liable after a big rig crash, and that could be true. Depending on the case, though, you may be able to hold other parties liable for negligence as well. For example, maybe another driver swerved in front of the truck causing the truck to have to make an emergency maneuver. If so, it may be that both the truck and the other driver could be held responsible for the wreck.
You could also sue the trucker’s employer. The trucking company may have hired a driver without the proper qualifications to drive, or they have failed to maintain or repair their trucks, resulting in a mechanical problem that the driver wasn’t even aware of. Some trucking companies also push their drivers to make deliveries and work long hours despite laws restricting how many hours they can drive daily.
The truck loading company could be liable if they loaded the trailer poorly or failed to secure the cargo. It may also be possible to sue local and state governments for not maintaining roads if their condition played a part in your accident.
Talk to a truck accident attorney to know who’s at fault in your case.
Damages You Can Seek From the Liable Party
Damages available to you will depend on the details of your accident, but could include:
- Medical bills, including ambulance transportation, hospitalization, medication, surgery, and specialist visits
- Property damage to your car and other items
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning potential
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
If a loved one died in the accident, you may also be able to sue for wrongful death. Damages may include:
- The deceased’s final medical bills
- Funeral and burial costs
- Loss of inheritance
- Loss of love, companionship, and comfort
- Loss of household income
How to Pursue Compensation After a Multi-Vehicle Truck Accident
If you wish to sue one or more parties for a truck accident, your lawyer will first need to identify all liable parties. At trial, a jury will be required to assign a percentage of fault to each. For instance, the trucker might be 60% at fault, and the driver that veered into the truck’s lane 40% at fault. Additionally, you can be sure that the other side’s lawyers will do everything they can to try to put blame on you; even if you didn’t do anything wrong. Experienced litigators like Fadduol, Cluff, Hardy, & Conaway will fight to make sure that the jury understands exactly why this accident happened and ensure that the percentages of fault are where they should be.
The percentage of fault matters because some states don’t let you collect any compensation if you’re 50% or more at fault. In Texas, you must be below 51% at fault to collect damages. New Mexico is one of a few states that follows pure comparative negligence rules, which means you can seek compensation even if you happened to be 90% at fault.
Once you and your lawyer have analyzed the facts and made a preliminary determination of fault and assigned a value to your damages, you’ll make a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company (or the trucking company’s insurer). If the insurance company won’t settle, you may have to proceed to court.
We’ll Help You Determine Who Is Liable for Your Accident
Have you been in a multi-car collision and aren’t sure who is responsible? If so, reach out to Fadduol, Cluff, Hardy & Conaway, P.C. today.
Call (800) 433-2408 for a consultation with a truck accident attorney to discuss your options.