When commercial trucks and regular drivers collide in an accident, the resulting damage is often devastating, not only physically, but financially. These accidents may place victims in recovery for months or even years, and it may cost many thousands of dollars in medical care, recovery, property damage and lost wages. Without a strong legal strategy, the victims may feel like they are losing, no matter what the outcome is.
To add to these difficulties, it is not always simple to determine the parties that can be held liable for these losses. Even if the accident is the fault of the truck driver or it occurred because of some malfunction of the truck or the load being hauled, building a strong claim means correctly identifying the proper defendant or defendants.
If you or someone you love suffered serious harm in a truck accident, you may have a long road ahead of you while you fight for justice and a strong recovery.
Is the driver an employee or a contractor?
If you believe that a commercial truck driver is responsible for your accident, one of the most important things to understand when building a claim is the relationship of the driver to the company that hired them.
In some cases, the driver is not an employee of the hiring company, but a subcontractor. If the driver is only a subcontractor for the hiring company and not an employee, the driver may bear all the liability for the accident through their own insurance.
If, however, the driver is an employee, then the employer may also bear liability for the accident. In many areas of the law, if an employee commits some violation, the employer often holds liability for the violation.
Determining whether an employer is a defendant in your claim may significantly alter how you build your strategy, and it may also affect how long it takes to resolve the matter satisfactorily.
Other potential defendants
Depending on the nature of your accident, you may need to consider other potential defendants in your claim. This is difficult to do until you have a strong understanding of how the accident happened and why, so you must first gather as much evidence from the accident as possible.
If, for instance, a component of the truck malfunctioned and caused the accident, then the company that manufactured the component may hold liability.
It is also possible that the accident occurred because the load that the truck carried was not properly secured. If the load shifted while the truck was in motion, then it may easily have caused the accident. In this case, the party that fastened the load within the trailer or to the flatbed may hold liability.
Get the advice you need
It is wise to carefully examine all sides of the matter before rushing to file a claim, but keep in mind that the process of pursuing a claim takes a good deal of time. Don’t wait another day to get help building your claim, to preserve your rights and priorities while you work toward physical and financial recovery.