Who Can I Sue if I was Hit By a Truck
Usually when you sue for a truck accident, you sue the negligent driver, and the company who owns the semi cab, trailer, and/or its cargo. Corporations like FedEx, Walmart and Target are also responsible for the safe transport of goods, and they need to be held accountable.
It is important for your lawyer to sort out who the responsible parties are that contributed to the accident, and to hold them all accountable. The liable parties that are often sued in a commercial vehicle collision lawsuit may include one or more of the following.
When a truck driver or other commercial vehicle operator is not fully alert or in control of their vehicle, they endanger the lives of everyone around them. When a driver’s action or lack of action results in injury or death, they can be personally held responsible for their actions.
These drivers are, by law, required to use extra care and caution when on the road. They are also required to follow strict federal and state regulations, including laws limiting the number of hours they can be behind the wheel. In addition, they can be charged with DUI or DWI with a blood alcohol level of .04%. Read about one of our cases involving a driver who was charged with using synthetic marijuana.
Owner of Truck, Trailer, or Load
The owner of any part of the tractor-trailer or the contents of the trailer can often be held liable for any injuries caused by their goods or the transportation of their goods.
Trucking Company (Carrier)
Trucking companies are often at least partially responsible for any accident that involves their vehicle. In many cases crashes result from the company choosing to ignore safety violations, not fully enforce federal regulations, or putting on the road an unqualified or unsafe driver.
“Carriers are liable for the actions of their employees. Neither intent to commit, nor actual knowledge of, a violation is a necessary element of that liability.” (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration)
When an accident is caused by the malfunction of a piece of equipment, company that manufactured that piece of equipment and the company that used it in building their vehicle can both be held responsible for an accident resulting from their malfunction equipment. The most common malfunctioning parts include the steering components, brakes, lights, and tires.
It is the responsibility of service and maintenance shops to 1) service vehicles correctly and 2) to be on the lookout for vehicle parts that have become worn down and unsafe. When shops neglect these duties, they endanger the lives of both truck drivers, and those in vehicles around them. We look for any evidence that might lead us to believe that negligence might have caused an accident.
If the air brakes, steering system, tires, trailer hitch or other part fails and causes, even in part, a crash, the maker of that part and others may be legally responsible.