In commercial truck accidents, who is going to be on the hook legally? Who’s going to be held liable/financially responsible – the business for which the driver works, or the driver of the truck? Before we answer that question, let’s check out some statistics from a couple of years ago.
In the United States, in one year:
- Almost 160,000 individuals were involved in large truck-related crashes.
- In the same number of crashes, more than 5000 people were killed.
(This information comes to us Courtesy of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.)
Where “large” trucks are concerned – including tankers, 18 wheelers, big rigs, and delivery trucks – many are of the commercial variety. If you’re involved in a commercial truck-related accident, there are a number of things you’ll want to be aware of. We are going to briefly look at some of those here.
Commercial Truck Accidents: Company Vs. Driver Liability
If you are injured in an accident involving a truck of the commercial variety, you should know the following:
- To prove the truck driver was to blame for the incident, federal and state regulations may be of assistance.
- For your losses, the employer of the truck driver (and others) may be liable.
Commercial Truck Accidents – Who’s Legally Responsible?
Compared to common car accident claims, a much more complicated situation is presented by commercial truck accidents and the claims related to them. With an insurance company, you might be able to file a claim and sue the at-fault driver in your basic two-car accident case. But the legal case involving a commercial truck can differ.
Against both companies and people, you’ll likely be able to file claims if you’re involved in a commercial truck accident. These can include the following:
- The company responsible for truck maintenance
- The cargo loader and owner
- The truck owner
- The truck driver’s employer
- The truck driver
Of course, all of these entities aren’t always involved where commercial truck accidents are concerned. Some people own their own big rigs and work as independent contractors, as an example. However, if you were involved in an accident with a commercial truck, you should ask your legal representative about all of the above-listed possibilities where liability is concerned.
From state to state, laws vary where liability and independent contractors are concerned (involving commercial truck-related incidents). A number of things are going to come into play to show whether or not a trucking company directly employs the driver or if they are independent.
You (and your legal representative) may have to show or examine the following:
- Who’s responsible for paying the truck’s insurance, permit, registration, etc.
- How is the driver of the truck paid by the company?
- Can the driver work for/be contracted by other trucking companies?
- Over the trucker’s schedule, how much control does the company have?
Additionally, discuss with your attorney the “scope of employment” and whether or not a driver was acting within it.
Corradino & Papa Can Assist with Representation for Truck Accidents
What’s the most important thing to know when it comes to being involved in a commercial truck-related accident? Answer: The fact that Corradino & Papa is well-established, highly educated, experienced, and knowledgeable where accident/personal injury cases are concerned.
Whether you’re involved in an accident with a commercial truck, privately-owned truck, car, SUV, motorcycle, or what have you, notify us immediately to see if we can be of assistance. You may be owed a considerable sum of money. We can fight for your rights.