After an accident with a truck or other commercial vehicle, you may be left with severe, sometimes life-altering injuries and significant monetary damages as a result. You may be facing lengthy and expensive medical treatments, visits to your doctor and specialists, and even hospital stays.
You may lose income as a result of being unable to work after your accident, and you may also experience chronic pain and suffering, and a general decline in your overall quality of life. It is possible to hold the at-fault parties responsible, but there are important things to know about truck accident liability and insurance.
Who Is Liable for a Truck Accident?
Multiple parties can be held liable for a truck accident, and sometimes numerous parties can simultaneously be found liable. These might include:
- The truck driver may be liable for negligent or reckless driving. This can happen when the driver fails to follow the rules of the road or traffic, such as by speeding or ignoring road signs. It may also happen through reckless driving, such as following too closely, failing to yield, or failing to check blind spots as necessary. Moreover, negligent or reckless driving may entail driving distracted, drowsy, or fatigued, or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- The trucking company may be liable for the negligent actions of its driver under the concept of respondeat superior. This holds the company liable when the driver is acting negligently while performing the duties of their employment.
- The trucking company may also be liable for its own negligent conduct, such as the failure to properly inspect and maintain its trucks, if that conduct was a contributing cause of the accident. In cases where improperly loaded cargo was a cause, the trucking company may be liable for the damages as well. Moreover, if the trucking company was negligent in hiring, training, or supervising the driver who caused the accident, they may be held liable.
- In some cases, a defect in the truck itself may be a cause of the accident. Equipment can fail and parts can break. Your accident might have been the result of a faulty brake system, for example, which could potentially make the manufacturer of the truck liable.
- It is also possible to have other parties involved. For example, the truck may be owned by one operator but leased to a trucking company, or there may be a separate shipping or loading company that is ultimately responsible for improperly loaded cargo. For these reasons, it is extremely important to identify the parties involved who may share liability for your personal injuries and to include them all during the claims process.
What Should You Know About Truck Accident Insurance?
First, understand that not only can there be multiple parties who share liability for a truck accident, but they may also have various insurance carriers who will need to be involved with your claim. This alone makes for a complex process in truck accident cases—not to mention, because of the high amount of damages usually at stake, the insurers involved will likely fight tooth and nail to keep their payout to you as low as possible. In addition, each carrier may have its own rules and procedures for filing and handling claims, complicating the process even more.
You should not face the responsible parties and their insurance companies alone. An experienced truck accident attorney can be invaluable in assessing the full extent of your injuries and damages, as well as investigating the accident to ensure that the unique facts of your case are presented accurately.
They will investigate whether your personal injuries were due to another party’s negligence and will work to establish liability for your damages based on the relevant laws involved. They will also offer sound legal advice and discuss your rights and options with you, strategizing about the best steps to take in your case so that you can recover a fair settlement or judgment.
How Can Johnson Garcia Help With Your Truck Accident Case?
Don’t let the trucking company and their insurer have the upper hand in your case. Contact an experienced, knowledgeable truck accident attorney who will not only work on your behalf to obtain a fair and reasonable settlement but also build a strong case on your behalf if a settlement is not possible and you need to take your claims to court. Johnson Garcia, based in Houston, Texas, has years of experience in helping victims of large truck and 18-wheeler accidents obtain sizable settlements, and we have earned a reputation as one of the leading personal injury law firms serving Houston and neighboring communities. If you’ve been injured in a truck accident caused by the negligence of another party, please contact the Houston-based legal team at Johnson Garcia. We can be reached by phone at 832-844-6700. Your initial consultation is free.