Who is liable for the injuries I sustained in a truck accident?
Statistics from the U.S. Department of Transportation show that almost 5,000 people died in a year from accidents involving large trucks. An accident involving a tractor trailer or other big rig may result in catastrophic injuries and involve numerous vehicles. However, truck accidents may have multiple potential defendants as well as multiple victims. Your attorney will know best how to pursue each claim.
Certainly the truck driver may be the first person to consider when placing blame. The driver may be liable if he or she acted negligently. This may mean that the driver was distracted by a cell phone or other device, was under the influence of drugs or alcohol or was driving recklessly, among other things.
In addition to the driver, the trucking company or contractor the driver worked for may also be held responsible. Your attorney will need to establish a relationship between the driver and the company and demonstrate that the accident occurred while the driver was working for the company. If the accident was the result of improper truck maintenance, and the trucking company was responsible for the upkeep of its vehicles, this may add to the culpability of the company.
Sometimes the cargo of a truck may contribute to injuries sustained in an accident. For example, if the truck was hauling toxic or caustic materials that wounded accident victims, or if the cargo exploded or caught fire causing injuries, the manufacturer or shipping company may hold some blame. Since each of these entities probably carries its own policies through different insurance companies, your attorney will likely examine them all carefully for potential liability.
The trauma and potentially life-threatening injuries a truck accident may cause cannot be measured. However, financial compensation may mean the difference between quality medical care and a lifetime of suffering. A dedicated attorney will evaluate your claim and pursue all avenues to obtain possible compensation.