An automobile accident that involves trucks or semitrailers is more likely to cause serious injury or death than one involving smaller vehicles. In addition, truck accidents present different issues when it comes to making claims for compensation that would ordinarily be encountered with a car accident involving two personal vehicles. The victim of a truck accident may require more extensive and expensive medical care for several years, if not for the rest of his or her life.
When a person is involved in a truck accident, he or she may not always know where to start in terms of seeking compensation to help cover the cost of injuries, or to compensate for the loss of a loved one. In most truck accident cases, the injured plaintiff generally has a few parties from whom to seek compensation, such as:
The options can confuse most people, and negotiating a settlement without knowing which parties may be responsible can result in the injured person receiving a lower settlement.
However, there are other legal issues that can affect a claim, for example, if an injured person wants to sue the company that employed the at-fault truck driver at the time of the accident, he or she has to make sure the truck driver was actually employed by the company. Even assuming a truck driver is on the job at the time of the accident, it is not always clear that the company would be financially responsible for the crash. Truck drivers are sometimes hired as independent contractors, and the companies they contract to work with are not generally responsible for the actions of independent contractors.
There are exceptions to this, and if the company with which the driver contracted violated state and federal regulations governing the trucking industry or encouraged the at fault driver to violate the regulations, the company could be liable. If the company owns the truck involved in the accident, the company could also be held responsible for the accident for failing to properly maintain the truck, if the truck is caused by a mechanical defect.
In any car accident, figuring out the cause of the accident is important when it comes to making the decision whether to sue or settle the case. This is the case with truck accidents. However, there can be any number of reasons for a serious truck accident and the process of figuring out what caused a crash can require the use of industry professionals and other expert witnesses. The investigative process also requires requesting documents such as driver’s logs, maintenance records, and safety records. This can be a painstaking process that is best handled by experienced professionals.
Let Us Help You
If you were injured in an accident caused by an at-fault truck driver, you can seek compensation for your injuries from all the parties involved. Because of the unique issues presented in a truck accident case, you do not want to go through the negotiation of a settlement, or the litigation of a claim without the assistance of an experienced truck accident injury attorney. Call the law firm of Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C. to set up a consultation.