If you become involved in a trucking accident, it may be challenging to determine who is going to be financially responsible for any damages and injuries you sustain. Contrary to what many believe, it’s not always the driver who is solely liable for the mishap. Along with the aid from a reliable truck accident lawyer, the following can help you establish who was truly at fault and allow you to receive the compensation you deserve.
3 Parties Who Can Be Held Liable in a Truck Accident
1. Truck Driver
Driver error is to blame for most truck accidents. This can be caused by the truck driver’s fatigue, disregard for traffic laws, failure to focus on the road, or substance abuse. Generally, if the negligent driver is an independent contractor, then he holds sole liability for the incident. Otherwise, the employer or truck company may also bear some of the faults. It is sometimes difficult to determine whether or not a truck driver is considered an independent contractor, so a truck accident lawyer is often called in to pursue compensation.
2. Trucking Company
Usually, the trucking company who employs the driver is also held responsible. Liability is often placed on the employer of a driver who committed unintentional wrongful acts “within the scope of employment.” Some examples of shortcomings that a trucking company may be guilty of include failure to maintain the vehicle, cutting corners when it comes to safety, incomplete inspection, and unrealistic driver expectations. It can be challenging to place liability on a company, so an experienced truck accident lawyer and expert witness may be necessary to win a case.
3. Cargo Loaders
When a truck that was involved in a mishap is carrying cargo, the loader can also share some of the liability. A cargo loader is supposed to be responsible for securing the goods, and thoroughly inspecting them before giving the driver the green light. Moreover, any defect found in truck parts could be enough to place liability on the manufacturer. When accidents happen because of a tire blowout or a malfunctioning truck part, an investigation usually leads to the inclusion of the manufacturer in a multiple defendant lawsuit.
Experience and determination are vital qualities for determining fault when it comes to road accidents. The passionate truck accident lawyers at Fitzpatrick, Skemp & Associates, LLC in La Crosse, WI, can help if you’ve been a victim of another driver’s negligence. You can also inquire about their other legal practices such as wrongful death, Social Security disability, or workers’ compensation. Call (608) 784-4370 for a free initial consultation. Visit their website to connect with them online.