You may wonder who to sue if you are involved in a semi-truck accident with the driver. You can sue either the driver or the company. Perhaps the truck manufacturer is responsible. Sometimes, multiple people may be liable. This can lead to problems if one company owns a cab and another company owns a truck trailer.
A truck accident lawyer is the best person to help you get to the bottom of the matter. Their advice will be invaluable in obtaining the compensation you are owed for medical bills and lost wages as well as pain and suffering. He or she will be able to determine the cause of the accident and what caused it.
The Driver Is at Fault
Even when there are contributing factors, driver error may still play an important role in an 18-wheeler crash. You may be able to bring a case against the driver if they were negligent. This is important to remember: Drivers are often considered statutory employees. They may be independent operators, but they are still considered employees. You may be able to bring a case against the trucking firm.
Negligence can be displayed by drivers in the form of speeding, reckless driving, distracted driving, and failing to use their turn signals.
There are laws that limit the time truck drivers can spend on the roads. A personal injury lawyer can help determine if the truck driver drove too long or did not get enough rest.
It’s a Good Idea to Sue the Company
Vicarious liability is a legal concept that holds a business responsible for its employees’ behavior.
Trucking companies started to hire drivers as independent operators, rather than employees, in an effort not to be sued. Trucking companies also started leasing trucks operated by independent contractors. The 1956 Interstate Common Carrier Act was amended by the U.S. Congress to protect individuals from serious injuries that can often occur following semi-truck accidents.
Trucking companies were forced to take responsibility for their contractors’ behavior and the equipment they leased after amending the law. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration was also empowered to enforce trucking regulations through the amended law.
These regulations require interstate motor carriers to accept some control over equipment leased in the industry.
According to these guidelines, trucking companies can be held responsible for negligent driving behavior.
It doesn’t matter if the company has an employee or considers them an independent contractor. In cases of driver negligence, it will still be held responsible.
You may be able to sue a motor carrier if you are involved in an accident where the driver is an independent contractor and also leases equipment from a trucking company.
Each truck accident is unique. You should discuss your case with an attorney who can help you understand the details of the situation. It is crucial to seek legal advice when dealing with these types of situations.
A trucking company could also be held responsible for its drivers’ behavior. They could also be charged with failing to maintain their vehicle or failing to set reasonable standards regarding travel time and breaks.
To help you establish a valid claim, a lawyer can assist you in finding out about the company’s policies.
Suing the Loader or Shipper
Companies or individuals may be able to sue you if they loaded the semi-truck before the accident. The shipper or someone who spilled or overloaded the trailer could be held responsible. This could cause a rollover or accident.
Product Liability Claims
You may be able to sue the truck manufacturer or the company that supplied the parts of the truck if it stops working as it should.
You can sue the manufacturer for the defective part if it was due to a product defect such as a steering column problem or tire blowout. A company selling defective parts can help prevent others from suffering the same fate.
Call an Atlanta Truck Accident Lawyer to Schedule a Consultation
It is important to speak with an experienced attorney about your personal injury big truck claim. They will be able to help you prove your case and negotiate a settlement.
To schedule a consultation in Atlanta, call the personal injury firm of Gilbert Sperling. Call us at 404-418-7816 today.