In any car or truck accident, it’s normal to assume that you’ll seek compensation or file a lawsuit against the other driver. However, more than one party may be liable for your injuries, especially when the accident involves a commercial truck.
This article outlines the people and entities other than the truck driver who could be potentially liable for your truck accident injuries.
Why Identifying the Right Party Is Important
One of the first steps after being injured in a truck accident (after seeking medical attention) is to determine who is at fault and who is financially responsible.
Depending on the circumstances, this could be different parties. For example, the truck driver might have been driving drunk and caused the accident, but as an employee, his company’s insurance company may end up footing your medical bills.
Alternatively, more than one party could share the blame. To illustrate, suppose that the trucking company sent an untrained driver out on the road whose lack of training caused him to overcorrect on a turn. An investigation also revealed that the road was banked incorrectly. Here, the trucking company and a government entity could share blame.
Knowing who is financially liable is key to ensuring that you move your case forward against the right party. This could also influence the course of the investigation and the type of evidence you gather.
Who Can Be Sued in a Truck Accident?
Armed with the knowledge that the truck driver might not be the only party (or even the party) to sue in a truck accident, the question becomes, “Who can you sue in a truck accident?” It turns out there are several options.
The Trucking Company
If the truck driver is an employee and not an independent contractor, the employer can be sued for anything the driver does while performing his regular duties. Many trucking companies may try to argue that their drivers are independent contractors to avoid being sued.
However, a trucking company is likely to have an insurance policy with higher limits, allowing an Indiana truck accident attorney to seek maximum compensation for accident victim clients. Your attorney will often work to prove that the trucking company, not the driver, should be financially responsible.
Vehicle Maintenance and Repair Companies
Commercial trucks require regular maintenance and repair to be roadworthy and safe to operate. If a company in charge of these tasks makes a mistake that results in mechanical failure and an accident, it could be fully or partially liable for your injuries.
Truck and Parts Manufacturers
If a mechanical failure is traced back to the original manufacturing process, this could lead to the manufacturer being liable. Common issues here include faulty brakes, tires, engines, and other critical components.
The Trailer Owner or Operator
The trucking company may not own its own trailers. In these situations, it’s worth exploring whether the trailer owner or operator shares any liability.
Cargo Loaders and Shippers
Trucks can carry heavy loads and hazardous materials. If the crash or the resulting injuries were caused due to the actions of cargo loaders, they may be held responsible.
The government has a duty to maintain roads and provide proper signage. If something under the government’s control contributed to the accident, you may be able to sue.
If multiple vehicles were involved in the accident, there could be more than one at-fault party. Alternatively, another motorist could have made a maneuver that caused the crash.
Contact an Experienced Indianapolis Truck Accident Lawyer
Don’t wait to seek the advice of an experienced truck accident attorney. At Stewart & Stewart Attorneys, our Indianapolis truck accidents attorneys have a successful track record representing accident victims. Contact us at 317-827-7934 for a free consultation.