Accidents involving large trucks often present not only more catastrophic injuries and property damage, but entail more complex personal liability claims for the victims. When you have been injured in an accident with another personal driver, the claim is typically brought against that individual and handled by his or her insurance provider.
However, when you are involved in an accident involving a commercial driver, the claim may be filed against several parties concurrently. This will depend on the nature of the accident and the relationship that driver has with his or her employer.
Independent contractors versus traditional employee drivers
The primary issue that will influence which parties may be held liable in an injury or wrongful death claim involving a large truck is whether that driver is an independent contractor or a traditional employee. If he or she is a traditional employee, then it is possible to hold the relevant employer responsible for damages.
Contrastingly, if the driver is an independent contractor driving for hire, then it will be much more difficult to hold the employer liable.
In order to successfully file a claim against an independent contractor driver's employer, it is necessary to establish a sufficient oversight and supervision on the part of the employer. Without sufficient legal counsel, conducting a proper search to gather the information needed to establish employer's responsibility will be very difficult, if not impossible.
Can I sue the truck's manufacturer?
In some cases, it may be possible to sue the manufacturer of the truck or of a component of the truck, provided that you can prove that the accident was sufficiently caused by some kind of mechanical failure.
Again, this will require very in-depth investigation to determine elements that may have contributed to accident.
Get the help you need as soon as possible
Accidents, especially those with trucks, can mean exorbitant expenses for the victims. This is one of many reasons that it is best to begin the process of filing a personal injury claim as soon as you are able. This way, you are not the only one bearing the burden of recovery costs and lost income while the case is being decided.
The guidance of an experienced attorney can help you mount the best possible injury or wrongful death claim, while ensuring that your rights remain protected throughout the process.