Injured In A Truck Accident: 3 Potential Defendants For Your Lawsuit

Commercial truck accidents are particularly scary to think about. They are much larger than typical cars, and even trucks, that are on the road. Due to the basic laws of physics and the heavier weight, big rigs can cause some very serious, and sometimes fatal, injuries. If you are involved in a truck accident, it is possible to recover injury-relayed compensation via a legal claim in civil court. However, you need to first know who to sue. Here are three potential defendants for a personal injury or wrongful death suit following a commercial truck accident:

1. The Truck Driver

This is the more obvious defendant to name in a personal injury lawsuit. After all, it is the driver who likely caused the accident due to distracted driving, falling asleep at the wheel, drunk driving, speeding or some other form of driver error. Unfortunately, in some cases, the truck driver won't be able to fully and fairly compensate you for the injuries that were sustained in an accident or for the property damage. Regardless, the truck driver should still be named as a defendant in your case if he caused the accident.

2. The Trucking Company

More than likely, the truck driver is not working for himself. Instead, he is likely working on behalf of a company, which means that the truck driver's employer may be able to be held responsible for your injuries if the accident occurred. This can be done many ways, including by proving that the truck driver was improperly trained or negligently hired.

Alternatively, the trucking company may have failed to abide by federal laws, which resulted in the truck being unsafe to drive. If the company is in violation of any federal regulations, the company may be on the hook for negligence. Unlike the truck driver, the trucking company will have much deeper pockets, which means that they may be able to more successfully cover your expenses.

3. The Drinking Establishment

If it is proven that the truck driver was drunk at the time of the accident, you may be able to sue the drinking establishment where the truck driver was sold alcohol. Although not all, most states have implemented dram shop laws. These laws allow restaurants and bars to be penalized if they overserve intoxicated patrons. If it can be proven that this happened in your case, the business may be held liable – even if only partially responsible – for the accident and sustained injuries.

Truck accident lawsuits can be nerve-wracking, time-consuming and extremely complicated. Therefore, you may want to consult with a truck accident attorney for assistance with holding the appropriate party or parties responsible for their negligent actions. Depending on the exact circumstances surrounding your individual case, you may be able to name all three of the aforementioned defendants and possibly even others. 

For more information, contact Master Weinstein Shatz Moyer, P.C. or a similar firm.