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Who Do I Sue If I Have Been Injured in a Truck Accident?

Truck accidents often cause catastrophic injuries and fatalities due to the massive size and weight of the average truck compared to the average passenger vehicle. The costs associated with a serious truck accident injury can accumulate very quickly, and a successful truck accident claim will ensure that you receive the financial compensation to which you are entitled. However, there are a range of parties that may be liable for the accident. A highly skilled truck accident lawyer will thoroughly examine the details of your case, identify all parties who may be liable for the accident, and assist you with every step of the claims process.

What Are the Most Common Causes of Truck Accidents?

There are a number of reasons why truck accidents occur, from drowsy driving to mechanical issues. The cause of the accident will determine who you file a lawsuit against. For example, if the accident was caused by a truck driver that was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they will likely be held liable for the accident. If the accident occurred because the cargo was not properly loaded, and the truck driver was also under the influence of alcohol, the truck driver and the loading company may be liable for the accident. The following are examples of the most common causes of truck accidents in this country:

  • Aggressive driving
  • Distracted driving
  • Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Drowsy driving
  • Improperly loaded cargo
  • Manufacturing defects
  • Overloaded cargo
  • Speeding
  • Unsafe or irresponsible hiring practices

Who Can Be Held Liable for a Truck Accident?

When pursuing a personal injury claim after a truck accident, it is important to identify all of the parties who could be liable for your injuries, since one at-fault party’s insurance may not cover the total costs associated with your injuries and property damage, particularly if your injuries were catastrophic. This will ensure that the full extent of your damages are covered.

Keep in mind that large companies often have a highly paid legal team who resort to a range of tactics to avoid paying large settlements. A skilled truck accident lawyer will anticipate these tactics, ensure that the responsible parties are held liable and that you receive the financial compensation you deserve. The following are examples of some of the parties that may be liable for your truck accident:

  • The truck driver:  Truck drivers are often covered by the truck company’s insurance, although the driver may be held liable if he or she engaged in negligent behavior, including speeding, drunk driving, distracted driving, or drowsy driving. Too often, overworked truck drivers speed, or continue driving beyond the number of hours that they are officially allowed in an effort to meet strict deadlines.
  • The truck company: Truck companies have a responsibility to ensure that their drivers receive the proper training, and that they follow the federal hours of service regulations.
  • The truck manufacturer: If the truck accident was caused by a manufacturing defect, the company responsible for manufacturing the defective part may be liable for your injuries.
  • The loading company: When the cargo is not properly loaded, or if too much cargo is loaded in the trailer, it can make it difficult for the truck driver to maintain control of the truck, particularly if the cargo comes loose and shifts en route. If the loading company did not properly load the cargo, or ensure that the cargo was safely secured, the company may be liable for your injuries.
  • The maintenance company: Commercial trucks must be maintained on a regular basis to ensure that they are working properly. Many devastating accidents can be prevented with proper truck maintenance.

How Do I Prove That the Liable Party was Negligent?

In order to have a successful personal injury claim, you must be able to establish that negligence was involved. The following are the four elements of negligence:

  • The responsible party owed you a duty of care.
  • The responsible party breached the duty of care in some way.
  • The breach of duty caused the accident.
  • You suffered injuries as a result of the accident.

What Damages Am I Eligible to Receive?

Unfortunately, when a passenger vehicle is involved in an accident with a massive commercial truck, it is usually the occupants of the passenger vehicle that suffer the most severe injuries. If you were involved in a serious truck injury, and the truck driver and/or another party was responsible for causing the accident, you may seek compensation for the following damages:

  • All medical expenses associated with the injury, including hospital bills, ambulance fees, surgeries, tests, prescription medication, and physical therapy.
  • Future medical costs
  • Property damage
  • Lost wages if the injury prevents you from being able to return to work.
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

What If I Lost a Loved One in a Truck Accident?

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), accidents involving large commercial trucks have a higher fatality rate per mile traveled compared to accidents involving passenger vehicles. When a devastating fatality occurs, the surviving family member may file a wrongful lawsuit against the truck driver, the truck company and any other party that bears responsibility for causing the accident. While a successful claim will not bring back the family’s loved one, it will ensure that they recover compensation for the following:

  • Funeral costs
  • Medical expenses associated with the truck accident
  • The loss of the loved one’s earning potential
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of companionship

Dayton Truck Accident Lawyers at Wright & Schulte LLC Assist Truck Accident Victims with the Claims Process

If you or a loved one suffered a serious injury in a truck accident, do not hesitate to contact the Dayton truck accident lawyers at Wright & Schulte LLC. To schedule a free, confidential consultation, call us today at 937-222-7477 or contact us online. Our offices are located in Dayton, Ohio, where we serve clients in Cincinnati, Columbus, Cleveland, Centerville, Toledo, Youngstown, and Miamisburg.