Filing a truck accident claim can prove incredibly complex. This is because even when you have the right to get compensation for property damage, injury, and other forms of pain and suffering, you need to determine liability. Ascertaining this is a viable way to increase your chances of getting a settlement.
So, how can you identify the responsible party, especially since trucking accidents involve numerous individuals and agencies? Hiring a lawyer to help you with the investigation and the claim process is key to streamlining the process for you. Here are potential wrongdoers the auto accident attorney will consider to determine who is liable:
There are several reasons why the truck driver may be liable for the accident. For instance, they may have been distracted while driving or breaking the law by driving drunk. If the investigation confirms that the driver was under the influence, they will be held solely responsible for the losses incurred. Other factors that may have contributed to the accident include driving while sick, operating the vehicle for too many hours, and drowsy driving.
The Truck Company
In some situations, the trucking company may be responsible for the accident. You will likely need a lawyer's help to navigate a complex situation such as this. For example, the company might have forgone inspections for the trucks before they went on trips or failed to prioritize safety protocols. Some companies even push their drivers to work longer hours in order to meet their clients' needs. Investigations may even uncover that the trucking company has worked to increase the truck's speed. If your lawyer finds reasons like these to have caused the accident, the trucking company will be required to provide compensation.
The Truck Owner
Some trucking companies do not own the trucks they use to transport their client's goods. The owner may be held accountable if such a truck is involved in an accident. Perhaps the owner hasn't been ensuring the truck is inspected, having its tires changed, replacing worn-out parts, or providing fluid refills. It's the responsibility of truck owners to maintain and repair their trucks. Thus, if an investigation reveals that the truck hasn't been professionally serviced or repaired, the owner will have to pay for the accident's damages. The same applies if the cause of the malfunction was known beforehand and yet ignored.
Establishing liability on your own after an accident can be a challenge. You will likely find it difficult to deal with the other party's attorneys and insurance representatives. Keep in mind that the trucking company, truck manufacturer, and owner will undoubtedly send their lawyers and insurance team to handle the case. For this reason, you will need to contact an auto accident attorney service—such as Borbi, Clancy & Patrizi, LLC— to help investigate and represent you in your case against the party responsible.