If you have been in an accident concerning a commercial truck and were injured as a result, you are not alone. In the year 2013 alone, there were about 338,000 accidents that involved large trucks. You may want to seek compensation if the accident was not your fault, but it can be tough to determine which party is liable for your injuries and what actions you should take. Here are some things you need to know so that you get the settlement you want.
The Type of Driver May Determine Who is Responsible
You may not realize this, but you may opt to make different decisions about whether you will sue the driver based on the type of driver they are. If they drive for a trucking company and are an employee, you may decide to sue the company as well as the driver. The company may be responsible for what happened because they did not properly train the driver, for example. They might have hired a driver with a poor driving record or a history of substance abuse.
There may even be some instances where the driver is not personally liable at all and you can only take action against the company. For instance, the trucking company may not have had its trucks serviced often enough. In cases like these, the company, not the driver, is likely be held responsible for your injuries.
Were you in an accident with a driver who is an independent contractor? In that case, you may only be able to sue the driver directly. Many independent contractors sign agreements with trucking companies where they agree to be held personally liable if they are in an accident while doing work. Your lawyer will typically request work documents to determine what kind of driver was in the accident with you.
Hurt by Products on the Truck? The Owner of the Products May Be to Blame
If your accident wasn't caused by the truck but by materials the truck was carrying, the company that owns or produces those items might be the party that is liable for your injuries. This is sometimes the case when a truck is hauling hazardous materials. It could be that the owner of the materials never adequately discussed the hazards with the truck driver or did not secure their products properly.
Now that you know a little more about factors that may affect the compensation you receive, work closely with a truck accident attorney who has experience with these kinds of cases. They can help you proceed in a way that ultimately allows you to get the settlement you deserve.
To find more information, check out the sites that can get you in contact with a truck accident lawyer.