Truck accidents are among the more serious types of accidents. The aftermath of a truck accident is rarely pretty. This is mainly because the gross vehicle weight (GVW) of a class 8 truck is approximately 33000 pounds. Collisions with such heavy vehicles can prove fatal.
But trucks are vital to the American economy. In the US, trucks are responsible for roughly 72.2% of the nation’s freight by weight, accounting for $875.5 billion worth of goods. These numbers are for 2021.
Despite playing a crucial role in the economy, trucks account for a large number of accidents. A National Safety Council report states that 5,700 trucks were involved in fatal crashes in 2021, which was an 18% increase from 2020. If you were unfortunate enough to be involved in one, you must take the necessary steps to get compensation for your truck accident.
But that’s the difficult part. There are a lot of technicalities involved, lots of paperwork to be done, and lots of people to collect statements from. This is why it is important to seek out an experienced truck accident lawyer. They’ll offer all the assistance you need in your truck accident case.
One part of a truck accident case is finding out who the liable parties are. There may be one or many parties involved in the accident based on the circumstances under which it happened. Finding the liable parties is vital to your truck accident case.
This article discusses the potential parties you can sue after a truck accident.
The Truck Driver
Drivers are the usual suspects when it comes to truck accidents. There may be multiple reasons why truck drivers cause accidents.
- Distracted Driving: Truck drivers who are busy on their smartphones or multitask while driving have increased chances of accidents.
- Drug/Alcohol Abuse: Addiction or stress due to work or personal life can force drivers to abuse alcohol or other drugs. The influence of alcohol or drugs messes with the driver’s ability to judge hazards and stay focused on the road.
- Fatigue: Some truck drivers push themselves to work for long hours. This often leads to driver fatigue, which causes the driver to fall asleep at the wheel or not notice dangerous elements on the road.
- Poor Weather: It is the truck driver’s responsibility to take the necessary precautions before setting out in rough weather conditions. Driving too fast on slippery roads or not stopping when visibility is poor are two instances that may lead to accidents.
In the instances above, the truck driver will be the person whom a victim should sue in a truck accident.
The Trucking Company
Trucking companies have the responsibility of hiring qualified drivers and maintaining the trucks. Most often, trucking companies don’t perform extensive background checks or have strict hiring processes. This leads to inexperienced or unqualified drivers taking the wheel.
The role of truck maintenance also falls on trucking companies. Regular maintenance is essential for trucks. When companies skip truck maintenance, the chances of parts failing or malfunctioning increase considerably.
The trucking company can be held liable for accidents caused by poor maintenance or inexperienced drivers.
The Truck Manufacturer
Although not a common phenomenon, some trucks come with manufacturing defects. The issue can be in a truck component or in the truck itself. If you can gather evidence that a manufacturing defect was the reason for the accident, you can sue the truck manufacturer.
There are also instances when a newly serviced truck is involved in an accident. In such scenarios, it is essential to check whether the accident happened due to a defective part or poor quality of service.
If the reason was a defective part, then the part manufacturer can be sued. If it’s of poor quality, the auto shop or the mechanic who serviced the vehicle can be sued.
The Cargo Loader
Cargo loaders have the important job of securing the goods to a truck. Poorly secured cargo tends to shift around, causing the truck to lose control.
Another dangerous situation is an overloaded truck. A truck that’s carrying more cargo than its limit is difficult to control and poses a threat to everyone on the road.
If you were hurt due to improperly secured cargo, then the cargo loader(s) can be sued.
The government has the duty to construct safe roads and conduct regular maintenance. The Highway 550 in Colorado, the Dalton Highway in Alaska, and the I-285 in Georgia are examples of deadly highways in the US. When accidents are common in a particular spot, it indicates a problem with road maintenance.
You can sue the city or a government agency if your accident was caused by faulty roads. Make sure to consult a lawyer to learn about the complexities and local laws involved in suing a city.
Truck accidents cause serious damage to a person’s physical, mental, and financial health. Some may even lose their lives. Victims of truck accidents must gather the courage to fight and bring the responsible parties to justice. Consult a lawyer today to find out how you can seek compensation for your losses and injuries.