When you drive on the highway, few things are more intimidating than the grill of an 18-wheeler in your rearview mirror. These trucks are the largest vehicles on the road, and they present extraordinary risks to motorists who are helpless to protect themselves when truck drivers make mistakes or truck components malfunction. If you have been unfortunate enough to be involved in a serious accident or tragically lose a loved one, we encourage you to speak with an 18-wheeler accident lawyer about your legal rights.
With few exceptions, when an 18-wheeler is involved in an accident, a mistake by the truck driver or an issue with the truck itself will be to blame. At Banafshe Law Firm, PC, we help individuals and families recover just compensation for 18-wheeler accidents resulting from all commercial vehicle-related factors. Some examples of these factors include:
Determining liability in a truck accident can be assigned to multiple parties. The accident may have been caused by whomever was responsible for loading the cargo, or it may have been due to the driver’s negligence or a defective part or product. Generally, it’s important to contact law enforcement immediately after an accident to ensure that a thorough investigation is conducted. Obtaining critical information immediately following an accident increases the likelihood that liability will be properly attributed.
Determining whether a truck driver is to blame for an accident will be gauged by what ‘type’ of driver was involved in the accident. There are three types of truck drivers, for all intents and purposes, under the law: Owner/operators, or drivers who their trucks and lease them to trucking companies or operate their trucks as independent contractors working for a variety of corporations; company drivers, who are drivers employed by a specific company and drive that company’s trucks; and independent owner/operators, who use their own trucks to haul goods that they also produce.
The type of driver you collided with will determine who is liable. For example, a driver that works for himself would be considered wholly liable for any injury his negligence produces; however, a driver that works for a company would likely mean that the company is also responsible for their driver’s negligence.
Truck accidents aren’t always caused by a driver’s negligence. Oftentimes, an accident may have been caused by defective parts or a glitch in the truck’s mechanical system. In that case, liability might be assigned to one or several manufacturers, and determining who is to blame becomes increasingly more complex. In addition to a personal injury lawsuit, a defective product lawsuit would be appropriate in these cases. A truck accident lawyer would be able to help you determine whether such a claim would be appropriate in your particular case.
Liability will vary based on the individual circumstances of your case. If you are injured in a trucking accident, an experienced personal injury lawyer can help you determine who you can sue for compensation. In some cases, the truck company can be held liable for the accident if one of its drivers was operating a company vehicle at the time of the accident. The trucking company can be held liable for a negligent driver in a number of situations, i.e., if the driver was operating the truck without the proper credentials, or if the trucking accident was caused by a vehicle malfunction.
If you need to speak with a lawyer about filing a lawsuit after an 18-wheeler accident, we encourage you to contact us for a free consultation. To speak with an attorney in confidence as soon as possible, call 800-789-8840 or get in touch online now.
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