Who Might Be Liable for My Damages after a Truck Wreck?

Most of the country relies on big rigs to ferry goods from A to B. While these giant carriers represent the ideal logistical solution, they pose a serious threat to other road users. Due to their considerable weight and size, accidents involving 18-wheelers can be incredibly devastating.  

If you were hurt in a wreck involving a large truck, you may be wondering who will foot the bill for the resulting expenses. Ultimately, someone will be liable for your damages, but determining exactly who was behind the wreck is rarely a straightforward process.  

In this article, we look at some of the parties who could potentially be liable for the accident and discuss how an attorney might be able to assist with your case: 

Another Motorist 

Drivers are expected to exercise extreme caution around 18-wheelers. As such, those behind the wheel will have to consider additional factors when driving alongside these giant rigs. For instance, trucks need to take wider turns and have larger blind spots. If, for instance, a driver failed to give a trucker a wide berth, and this led to an accident, the motorist responsible could be held liable for the wreck. 

The Transportation Company 

While truck drivers must be properly trained and forced to adhere to Hours of Service laws to make sure they aren’t fatigued when they are on the road, they still do make mistakes. However, if they are on the clock, their employer will usually be held responsible for any damage their employees cause. Additionally, if the accident was the result of a parts failure due to poor maintenance, the employer will typically be on the hook for your damages. 

The Cargo Loading Company 

Many trucking companies rely on third-party agencies to help load cargo. As such, if a truck tips over because it was overloaded, incorrectly stocked, or items fall from the truck leading to an accident, the company responsible for loading their freight could be held liable for the resulting wreck. Outside of drowsy driving and speeding, rollovers are one of the most common causes of 18-wheeler wrecks. 

A Government Agency 

Road faults are a surprisingly common cause of wrecks with potholes, sharp turns, and poorly marked lanes leading to catastrophic accidents every year. Ultimately, government agencies and local municipalities are responsible for maintaining roadways in the state, so if a badly designed street, pothole, or unmaintained stretch of tarmac caused the collision, these entities could be liable.  

An attorney can investigate the wreck to determine whether a government agency’s negligence was behind the accident. Keep in mind that you will usually have a shorter window of time to act against a state agency or local municipality, and you will also have to follow different protocols compared to a typical personal injury claim, potentially leading to additional delays.  

Discuss Your Case with a California Truck Accident Attorney 

Did you suffer serious injuries in a collision involving a truck? Turn to the legal team at Harris Personal Injury Lawyers to discuss your options.  

We can meet with you as part of a free consultation wherein we can assess the merits of your case, review the evidence you’ve gathered, and explain how we might help you build a strong claim. Dial 1-800-GO-HARRIS or head over to our contact form HERE to request a case evaluation with a California truck accident attorney.