Although any motor vehicle accident can cause serious injuries to occupants of the involved vehicles, when a tractor-trailer, or other large truck, is one of the involved vehicles the odds of being seriously injured increase dramatically. When a victim of a trucking accident is injured, and the truck caused, or contributed to, the collision, the victim may be entitled to compensation for the injuries suffered in the crash. Who may be sued in a trucking accident case though?
That question highlights one of the reasons why trucking accidents cases are more complicated to litigate than accidents involving only passenger vehicles. When a semi-truck is involved in a collision there are typically multiple possible defendants, making it a much more complex case from a legal standpoint. Defendants in a trucking accident case may include, but are not limited to, the following:
- The driver of the truck
- The trucking company that employed the driver
- The owner of the truck
- The owner of the cargo being hauled
- The third party facilitator (sometimes a third party puts a trucking company together with cargo in need of being moved and works out the actual contract)
- Third party maintenance provider
- Manufacturer of the truck
Because there are so many potential at-fault parties when a truck is involved in an accident, everything about the case is more complicated than the average car accident case. The State of Louisiana uses comparative negligence, meaning that more than one party can be responsible for an accident. Therefore, it is possible for several of the potential defendants to end up sharing the blame for an accident. First, however, it must be proven that the truck was responsible for the collision, or at least that the truck contributed to the collision.
Once it has been established that the truck was at least partially at-fault in the collision, the degree of fault must be distributed among the defendants before negotiations regarding compensation can begin. Not surprisingly, each potential at-fault party will typically try and blame the accident on the other parties. If the brakes in the truck failed, for example, you might look to the manufacturer; however, fault could also lie with the third party maintenance company for not maintaining the brakes in working order and/or with the trucking company or driver for not properly inspecting the truck.
The good news for the victim of a trucking accident is that given all the potential defendants there is usually sufficient liability insurance to properly compensate a victim for injuries suffered in the accident. The hard part is deciding who is responsible for compensating the victim. If you have been injured in a Louisiana trucking accident, contact the Louisiana trucking accident attorneys at Broussard & Hart, LLC by calling 855-231-6873 to schedule your appointment today.