Typically, more parties than the truck driver are liable for a semi-truck accident. Most of the time, if you can sue the truck driver, you can also sue the trucking company that owns the vehicle. Two legal theories make this a possibility. First, you can frequently hold the trucking company responsible for your wreck under the theory of direct liability. A trucking company is directly liable for your injuries when they do something negligent themselves, such as failing to maintain the vehicle’s brakes in such a way that the faulty brakes led to the accident and your injuries. In that case, you may be able to hold the trucking directly liable for their negligence.
In other scenarios, the trucking company might not have done anything wrong, and it might seem the trucker is the only liable party. But in these situations, the trucking company can typically still be held to account under vicarious (indirect) liability due to the legal doctrine of respondeat superior. This fancy-sounding Latin phrase basically means one thing: an employer is responsible for its employees’ on-the-clock actions, even when the employer didn’t do anything wrong itself. In short, in an 18-wheeler accident case, whenever you can sue the trucker, you can also sue his employing trucking company.
In some situations, manufacturers cause 18-wheeler accidents by building products with manufacturing flaws or design defects. After all, big rigs are made up of many, many components, and these components have to function together for the semi-truck to operate safely. If a tractor trailer’s tires or cargo straps are unsafe and flawed, for instance, the tractor-trailer can pose a danger to other motorists on the roadway. If a manufacturer’s actions have led to a defective part, the manufacturer can be held liable and be named as a defendant for their role in causing your injuries.
Companies that Load Trucks
In some scenarios, the components of the truck might not make the semi-truck unsafe, but rather the loading of the truck might make it dangerous. For most 18-wheelers, the law mandates that they can’t be loaded with over 80,000 pounds; nevertheless, many companies try to overload trailers in an effort to save the expense of extra trips. But overloaded trucks are more likely to tip over and cause an accident when the truck rounds a turn. Other times, companies that load trucks don’t fasten the haul sufficiently to the flatbed trailer. This can result in the cargo coming loose from the trailer and causing danger for other motorists. If improperly loaded or overloaded cargo played a role in your truck accident, the cargo-loading company may well be named as a liable defendant in your lawsuit. Companies that Plan Routes
18-wheelers can’t drive down the same paths as ordinary passenger vehicles. For instance, plenty of roads, bridges, and tunnels have weight, height, and cargo restrictions that have to be considered when the truck’s route is planned. Given these complexities, truck drivers rarely improvise their own routes while they are driving. Rather, route-planning companies are responsible for planning the big rig’s paths ahead of time. If the company that plans the semi truck’s route fails to take into account important restrictions and sends a truck on a route that will make it pose a danger to other motorists, the route-planning company may be held liable for any resulting injuries.
Truck drivers, trucking companies, manufacturers, companies that load trucks, and companies that plan routes are just some of the multiple individuals and organizations who may have been to blame for your wreck. It’s critical to determine just which individuals or organizations, or which combination of them, are liable for your 18-wheeler accident. That allows you to recover the full compensation you’re due for your losses, and experienced 18-wheeler accident attorneys can name all of the liable parties for you. The 18-wheeler accident attorneys at our firm have two decades of experience in identifying all of the liable parties.