Truck accidents are some of the most devastating, often leaving a person with numerous injuries and long-term losses to their quality of life. There are many situations where you have the legal right to seek compensation for your losses, but the question remains: who can be sued in a truck accident lawsuit? Ultimately, the person or people responsible for the accident should face repercussions for these losses, but that is not always clear initially.
At Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi PLC, we recognize that every case is fact-specific. That is why we do the hard work of determining who is at fault based on thoroughly reviewing the evidence and learning as much about your case as possible. We encourage you to schedule a free consultation right now with us by calling a Memphis truck accident lawyer to find out how we can help you.
Who Is at Fault in a Truck Accident?
The goal of any legal situation like a truck accident is to determine fault, the person who acted (or failed to act) in the expected manner, which directly led to the losses you have incurred. This may seem simple. It may seem like the driver behind the wheel is ultimately responsible, but often, there are other parties responsible for these losses as well. Here are some examples.
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The Truck Driver in the Accident
In many situations, the truck driver behind the wheel holds some or all responsibility for the accident. If that driver acted recklessly or otherwise engaged in behavior that put other people on the road at risk, that driver should be held accountable for the losses they created. Some of the most common causes of truck driver-related negligence include:
- Reckless driving
- Changing lanes without signaling
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Distracted driving, such as texting while driving
In these situations, the driver may be responsible for your losses. Their insurance should cover the losses you have. Keep in mind that commercial truck drivers are licensed, and as a result, they must maintain proper liability insurance to cover the losses they create.
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The Trucking Company Employing the Driver
A trucking company employs many truck drivers. When a driver is employed, there may be some liability to lay at the feet of the trucking company. Truck drivers must be properly trained and licensed to operate these vehicles.
If a trucking company lets someone who does not have the right type of training or the right commercial driver’s license drive for them, they may be held responsible for the losses that party caused. Trucking companies must also ensure that the truck driver meets all compliance and regulatory requirements. This may include:
- Ensuring the truck driver is fit for the work
- Making sure the truck driver employee is following all of the rules of the road
- All federal laws regulating time on and off the clock are being met
- The tuck is loaded properly for the driver
- The driver has a safe truck to operate
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Trucking Companies and Insurance Policies
Trucking companies have insurance policies to protect themselves as well. The insurance company’s policy here is likely to be larger and more comprehensive than what could be expected from the driver’s policy alone. To reach the deeper pocket, a knowledgeable truck accident lawyer needs to prove that the trucking company was responsible for the losses and that the driver acted within the scope of employment.
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The Truck Manufacturer
There are some situations where the manufacturer of the truck or any of the components of the truck can be responsible. For example, suppose the truck manufacturer produced a vehicle that had a defective part that caused injury to another person. In that case, the truck driver may not have been able to control that situation, and the truck manufacturer may be held responsible.
Our truck accident attorneys will work closely with you to determine if this could be the case based on the evidence of what happened. Also, note that we may look at other cases like your own that could prove that a more widespread problem is occurring within the trucking industry. Our goal here is to be confident of the cause of the accident, which typically involves gathering details from experts in the field.
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The Repair Shop Working on the Truck
In some situations, a truck accident may be caused because of the repair work completed on the vehicle. A common example of this is having the vehicle’s brakes or tires repaired and then suffering an accident as a result of poorly done work. When this happens, the repair company could be held liable for the losses you have incurred.
This can apply to anything that they repaired, including:
- Loading and unloading equipment
- Hauling equipment
The repair shop can commonly make errors if the work is not double-checked. Also note that the mechanics and repair shop may not be the only ones to blame in this situation, especially if the vehicle was damaged due to failed maintenance.
Government entities such as cities and townships owe a duty to ensure the safety of the roads to all drivers. For example, if the truck driver cannot see past overgrown bushes on the tree lawn in a community and causes an accident, it could be the responsibility of a government agency.
Multiple Parties Can Be Liable
There are others who may be responsible for these types of losses, too. For example, a shipping company may be blamed If the loading team improperly loaded the truck and the truck tipped over. Multiple parties can be involved with various forms of liability we can assess to ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
Let Us Figure Out Who Is to Blame in Your Case
At Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi PLC, we work tirelessly to protect our clients and their rights. If you are unsure who is at fault in your case, contact our injury attorneys now. Let us provide clear guidance on your legal options so we can fight to protect your rights to compensation. Call us now to learn more about how we can guide you with a free consultation.