In most traffic accidents, determining fault is usually straightforward. However, that’s not the case with accidents involving commercial trucks, so you may need to rely on the expertise of a personal injury lawyer to help you find out who was at fault. This guide can give you a better grasp of the issues involved in determining fault in a truck accident.
How Does Your Personal Injury Lawyer Determine Truck Driver Negligence?
When determining fault, a truck accident lawyer uses the police report and photos of the vehicles to help establish negligence. Trying to determine if the windshield had been obstructed before the accident, or if there was poor tread on the truck’s tires, will help establish negligence. If these factors are present, it may be easier to prove that the driver of the truck was negligent by not ensuring that the vehicle was road-ready.
If the truck was in good operating condition, the driver’s actions may might caused the accident. Distracted driving common, and truck drivers aren’t immune to this unsafe habit. If your personal injury lawyer can access the truck driver’s phone records or the vehicle’s electronic log, it may show the driver was doing something else while the accident occurred.
When Can the Driver’s Employer Be Held Liable?
In some cases, your trial attorney may suggest naming the trucking company in the injury claim. This is not always possible, partly because many truck drivers own their vehicles and are solely responsible for their care. However, if the driver is the employee of a trucking company, that company is likely responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of their vehicles. If the accident was caused by poor brakes, poor tire tread, or some other mechanical issue, it may be possible to seek damages from the company.
In some situations, the accident may have been caused by a mechanical issue that’s common in all trucks of that same make and model. In that case, it may be possible to prove that a manufacturer’s defect caused the accident. To obtain damages in an accident resulting from that defect, you will need to file a claim against the truck manufacturer.
Determining fault in a truck accident is a complex issue and requires the skills of an experienced personal injury lawyer. Located in La Crosse, WI, Fitzpatrick, Skemp & Associates, LLC has been practicing personal injury law since 1982 and has recovered over $90 million for their clients in that time. If you have been injured in an accident, you can schedule a free initial consultation by visiting their website or calling (877) 784-1230.