For those who are injured in an accident with an 18 wheeler, an important question immediately arises: who is responsible? The obvious answer would seem to be the driver, but there may many other possible avenues to explore on why a large truck crash occurred. A truck accident case is unlike a typical car accident case; and it must be handled by someone with a thorough knowledge of the laws regarding truck accident cases, as well as experience in collecting evidence in these types of lawsuits.
18 wheeler Accident Claims: Possible Avenues of Liability
There are several possible avenues of liability in any 18 wheeler or semi truck accident case. First is the truck’s driver. Drivers are often the focal point for trucking accidents, as their negligence may be a proximate cause of the crash. If the truck driver is an independent owner and operator and is not employed by any other company, and if the driver is at fault, it may be possible to make a claim against the driver and his or her insurance company. The concern exists when the truck driver is not insured, or has very little insurance to pay for the damages caused in the truck accident case. However, our investigation has determined that most drivers are not acting independently; instead, they are employees or agents of a company that may their own liability under the law.
Companies are responsible for the negligent actions of their employees if the employee is acting in the scope of his or her employment. This means that when truck drivers are acting on behalf of their employers by driving trucks for a delivery, the company may be liable for any accidents that occur. Companies can also be held accountable when a truck driver operates in a manner that creates an agency relationship with the truck driver.
Unfortunately, uncovering the part that has liability in the matter may not be as simple as determining who owns the truck or whether the driver was acting as an employee or agent. In many cases, the relationships are much more complicated, with a driver working for a company and driving a truck belonging to a third party. Circumstances also exist where the person or company that owns the cargo may be held accountable for the truck accident.
Finally, there may also be liability on the part of the person or agency that repairs the truck, the company that manufactures truck parts or others involved in the truck’s maintenance. The only way to be sure that the truck was properly maintained is to see the trucking company’s maintenance logs or to look for physical evidence of sloppy maintenance. In order to uncover problems with maintenance, it may be necessary to call in semi truck accident reconstruction expert team to examine the truck for poor maintenance evidence.
Seeking Damages In A Semi Truck or 18 Wheeler Accident Case
18 wheeler accident cases are much more complicated than car accident cases. It is these situations where a personal injury attorney with experience trying 18 wheeler accident cases is critical to obtaining a beneficial judgment for the victim. When seeking a truck accident attorney it is important to interview them about their experience with both settlement and trial. In our article The most important questions to ask a personal injury attorney, we outline 8 of the most important questions you should ask.
The Orlando truck accident attorneys at David and Philpot have been representing victims of trucking accidents for over 20 years. We are experienced trial attorneys with a track record of obtaining beneficial jury verdicts for our clients. Contact us today at 800.360.7015 if you have been involved in an accident and need serious and compassionate representation.