When involved in a typical car accident, you would either make a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company or, in some instances, file a personal injury lawsuit against that party. However, an accident that involves a commercial truck requires a different approach. The question is, would you sue the driver of the truck or the owner of the company?
If a commercial trucking accident caused you to sustain injuries or damaged your vehicle, after seeking medical attention, you need to speak with an attorney who specializes in personal injury cases. Both the circumstances of the accident and the determination revealed by a formal investigation dictate whether you sue the driver or the company owner. With legal representation, you can navigate the legal process.
The personal injury attorney you hire will delve into the police and insurance investigation to make sure you target the right party. He or she will also develop a strategy so you receive the financial compensation you deserve for your injury, damage, or both.
In most commercial trucking accidents, the company has the legal liability for the negligence or actions of the driver. For that reason, trucking companies usually carry sufficient insurance. More than likely, a lawsuit would go toward the company or its owner(s). However, it is possible for the driver of the truck to carry some degree of responsibility, especially if he or she is the owner or operator of the company or an independent contractor.
There are various instances in which you could sue both the company and the driver. As part of the legal service your attorney provides, he or she will determine if the driver was acting under the “scope of employment.” In other words, if the accident occurred while the driver was on the clock, you could go after both parties.
On the other hand, if the driver was merely behind the wheel but not working, trying to sue the company could prove difficult. The owner would likely put a fight, claiming the driver has sole legal responsibility for your injuries and personal damage.
When it comes to commercial trucking accidents, lawsuits often target both the driver and the company, which forces both parties to share in the legal responsibility. While conducting research, your attorney will also determine if there are other liable parties. Following are a few scenarios for those:
- Faulty Equipment – If a repair shop recently serviced the brakes on the truck but they failed, or there was some other equipment failure that caused the accident, you might be able to sue that company, as well.
- Leased Vehicle – If the driver leased the truck, you might be able to show that the leasing company has some degree of legal responsibility.
- Hired Driver – If a third-party business hired the driver to perform a service, the hiring company might also have some degree of responsibility.
As you can see, there are many components of a commercial truck accident, making them complicated to handle. Instead of stressing, allow a qualified attorney to deal with the legal aspects while you focus on healing.