Auto accidents include car, motorcycle, and truck accidents. Truck accidents don’t refer to accidents involving pickup trucks. They’re accidents involving large commercial vehicles such as tractor-trailers, 18-wheelers, and construction vehicles. These vehicles are larger than passenger vehicles and need more time to come to a complete stop, which is why they’re more likely to be involved in collisions.
Since truck accidents involve commercial vehicles, you may wonder if it’s possible to sue a truck driver or if lawsuits stemming from truck accidents are filed against the company.
Let’s look at whether drivers are protected and what to expect from a truck accident lawsuit.
Are truck drivers protected from lawsuits?
Drivers aren’t automatically considered responsible for truck accidents. The company that owns the vehicle might be liable if their negligence caused the accident. Suppose company maintenance records show the company failed to replace worn brakes or threadbare tires.
The investigation could determine that lack of adequate vehicle maintenance caused the accident. In that case, plaintiffs would sue the trucking company.
There are cases when plaintiffs could sue the trucking company and the driver. This might be appropriate if multiple contributing factors caused the crash. In some situations, the driver may be solely responsible. For example, if a driver’s using their cell phone when they’re in an accident, they may be considered the liable party. If the driver was speeding and the company’s failure to perform necessary repairs contributed to the accident’s severity, both the driver and company may be responsible.
Who handles truck accident lawsuits?
Personal injury lawyers handle auto accidents, including truck accidents. These attorneys study accident case law while earning their law degrees. Their familiarity with relevant case law ensures they’re aware of legal precedents that could support your lawsuit.
Personal injury law firms have lawyers that handle various personal injury cases. Hire a truck accident lawyer with plenty of experience handling truck accident cases. You may also want to hire a firm with multiple senior partners and associates because they’ll have more legal assistants and paralegals available to work on your case than a small firm with one or two attorneys.
What can you expect if you pursue a truck accident lawsuit?
Suppose you’re in a truck accident. Your actions will depend on your condition. If possible, contact the police immediately. Each state has property damage thresholds, and any accident meeting or exceeding those standards must contact the police after an accident.
Still, drivers are required to report accidents causing injuries in all states. The police will complete a police report which your attorney can use to establish the accident’s cause.
Once you contact the police, contact truck accident lawyers in your location for a free consultation. Your attorney will explain what happens during an accident investigation and clarify details to ensure you have grounds to pursue legal action. They’ll have their legal team begin preparing your case. This involves gathering information from you and any witnesses who saw the crash. They’ll secure a copy of the police report and seek additional evidence they can present in court, including video footage from security cameras and dashcams. They may also collect photos and videos from witnesses.
Your legal team will file paperwork with the court and serve the defendants. They’ll prepare you for depositions and hearings, ensuring you know what to expect throughout the entire legal process. They’ll also collect copies of your medical reports to establish the scope of your injuries. In addition to fighting for you to receive compensation for your medical expenses and property damage costs, your attorney will seek punitive damages if appropriate. Your legal team may negotiate a settlement or present your case at trial.
Truck drivers may or may not be liable for truck accidents. An experienced truck accident attorney can identify the liable party and build your legal case.