If you’ve been in a truck accident, you may be feeling overwhelmed and worried about what you should do next, and how you’re going to pay for your injuries. Liability isn’t always straightforward. In fact, there is a surprising number of people or entities who could have contributed to your car and truck accident. For serious cases like these, hire an attorney to help you determine who was at fault and against whom you should file suit.
Parties that May be Held Liable in a Truck Accident
The most obvious party to hold liable in a truck accident case is the semi driver. However, unless the semi-truck driver did something negligent—like fall asleep at the wheel, drinking while driving, driving at an unsafe speed—then s/he may not be to blame.
Interestingly, even if the truck driver did do something negligent, the truck company may be held liable instead. This is based on vicarious liability. An employer is responsible for the actions of the employee while the worker is completing tasks related to his or her job under vicarious liability.
In addition to the truck driver, the truck company may also be held liable if the accident was caused as a result of their negligence. Truck company negligence can vary but may be based on any of the following.
- Failure to have the truck inspected or repaired
- Failure to property train drivers
- Truck driver fatigue by overworking a driver past the federal limits
Another driver may also cause a semi tractor-trailer accident if s/he takes part in any of these actions.
- Cuts the truck off
- Takes a turn too quickly and hits the truck
- Otherwise forces the truck driver into a dangerous situation
What’s more, if a truck part is defective and faulty, then the manufacturer of that part—or the person responsible for failing to repair it properly—may be held liable. A shipper or loader of cargo may also be held liable for an 18-wheeler accident if improperly loaded cargo leads to an accident.
How do I know who’s liable?
The list of parties that may be held liable, as illustrated above, is extensive. Rather than assuming that the truck driver should be to blame for your injuries, it’s important to gather all evidence possible to determine true liability. In some cases, more than one party may be held liable, and knowing that is important.
If you’ve been injured in a truck accident, you may be physically or psychologically unable to gather the evidence necessary to prove negligence and recover damages.
- Police reports
- Witness testimony
- Truck driver logs
- Truck company inspection and repair reports
An attorney can help you establish fault and file your claim during your recovery process, and can help you do it within the state’s statute of limitations, which is two years under Pennsylvania Code Section 5524.
Speak with an Attorney Today Regarding Truck Accident Liability
Without a legal professional on your side who can advocate for you, you may be offered a damages amount that is far less than you deserve. By establishing the liability of all parties responsible, you can recover a compensation amount that fully covers the cost of your damages. At Cordisco & Saile LLC, we’re ready to go to work for you today. Call us at 215-642-2335 to get help now or fill out our fast contact form.