Were you traveling as a passenger when the vehicle you were in was struck by a commercial truck? The claims process can be overwhelming, and you may wonder how to hold the liable party accountable and who is to blame.
With help from a reputable truck accident lawyer at John Foy & Associates, you can learn more about who you should sue for your damages. Several parties could share liability. With our firm behind you, you can identify all parties who may have contributed to your injuries and seek justice and compensation to the fullest extent of the law.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
One of the top ways to determine who to sue for your truck accident damages is by reviewing how the accident happened. Some examples of the types of truck accidents could include:
- Jackknife accidents
- Blindspot accidents
- Head-on collisions
- Wide-turn accidents
- Underride accidents
- Rear-end collisions
- T-bone accidents
- Sideswipe accidents
The way your accident happened will also determine who to sue. Truck accidents sometimes occur due to dangers present on the streets and highways.
The truck driver may have encountered debris, heavy rain, or oil on the road. In addition, traffic lights may have malfunctioned, or the area may have lacked sufficient street lamps.
Truck Malfunctions and Defects
Other times, truck accidents can happen when there are vehicular malfunctions or defects. If the braking system fails, tires blow out, or there are internal issues with the truck’s operating system, these malfunctions can cause life-threatening or debilitating injuries.
However, in most commercial truck accident claims, negligent driving is the cause. Any unsafe driving can be considered negligent. This is particularly true with commercial truck drivers, who are held to a higher duty of care than other drivers on the roads due to the massive size of tractor-trailers and the potential for devastating injuries. Drivers also work long hours and are under tremendous pressure to meet their quotas.
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Potential Liable Parties
Next, your attorney will need to figure out who is responsible for causing the accident. As previously mentioned, the type and cause of your collision will provide valuable evidence to prove liability and negligence. Here are some of the top parties who could be sued when you were injured as a passenger in a commercial truck accident:
The Trucking Company
One party frequently held accountable after commercial truck accidents are trucking companies. Ultimately, the trucking company takes responsibility for the actions of their truck drivers and the safety of their big rigs. However, it is more than a professional liability. Many trucking companies violate Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations designed to keep truckers and others on the roads safe when 18-wheelers are out and about.
One of the most common ways trucking companies do this is by violating work-hour regulations. These laws set specific hour limits for truck driver operations, and trucking companies regularly force truck drivers to work beyond these limitations to meet deadlines. When your commercial truck accident was caused by drowsy driving, the trucking company can be held accountable, as well as the fatigued truck driver.
Trucking companies can also be held accountable when they fail to do their due diligence in hiring truck drivers. It is up to trucking companies to conduct thorough background tests, drug tests, and physical and mental competency exams. Failure to do so, or to pass someone who should not have passed, is considered negligence.
The Owner of the Truck
Truck owners can be held accountable for a victim’s damages when the truck is responsible for causing the accident. Truck owners have a duty to ensure the commercial truck has been carefully inspected and is safe for the roads. If the owner of the truck attempts to save money by failing to make necessary repairs or putting a dangerous big rig on the streets, they can be sued for your damages.
Truck drivers who do not take their civic duties seriously should be held accountable when their negligent driving causes collisions. There are multiple ways truck drivers cause accidents. Engaging in any type of unsafe driving could be grounds for legal action.
Truck drivers who violate FMCSA work-hour regulations, drive drunk, drunk or distracted, or fail to complete necessary truck inspections could find themselves the subject of a passenger’s truck accident lawsuit.
Truck Parts Designers, Distributors, & Manufacturers
When mechanical defects cause truck accidents, not only can the owner of the tractor-trailer be sued, but so can the truck parts designers, manufacturers, distributors, and suppliers.
These types of product liability claims are unique in that nearly anyone involved in the chain of distribution of these parts could be sued. An in-depth investigation will reveal the parties who could be held accountable when truck defects contribute to your passenger injuries.
Another cause of commercial truck accidents is lost loads. Commercial trucks often carry supplies, hazardous chemicals and materials, and large amounts of consumer goods.
When cargo loaders fail to properly secure these items or ensure the tractor-trailer is safely secured to the bed of the truck, they can be ordered to compensate victims for their damages.
Government Agencies & Municipalities
Finally, when hazardous road conditions contribute to your commercial truck accident, the municipalities and government agencies responsible for keeping the road safe can be held accountable. Some of these parties could include:
- The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT)
- Georgia state counties and municipalities
- Government officials in charge of issuing orders to make road repairs
Reach Out to a Truck Accident Lawyer for Help Today
Drivers and passengers alike have the right to be repaid when someone else’s negligence causes their injuries. If you were a passenger in a commercial truck accident, you have the right to recover your losses in full from the liable party.
Get help identifying those responsible for your damages when you call a knowledgeable truck accident attorney at John Foy & Associates. Please fill out our convenient contact form or call our office to schedule your no-cost, risk-free consultation today.