Who Can I Sue After a Truck Accident?
Legally Reviewed and Edited by: Terry Cochran
Truck accidents are notoriously severe, often resulting in life-altering injuries for the occupants of the passenger vehicles involved. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), 68% of deaths in motor vehicle accidents involving commercial trucks in 2020 were passenger vehicle occupants.
If you are injured in a truck accident with a commercial vehicle, you can seek damages for your injuries. Filing a truck accident claim may help you pay for medical bills, rehabilitative treatment and replace lost wages after a car accident. However, determining who to sue after a truck accident can be difficult, as multiple parties often bear fault for the damages.
You can work with the Michigan truck accident lawyers at Cochran, Kroll, & Associates, P.C. to help you understand where to seek compensation after a commercial vehicle accident. Explore your options for pursuing a settlement and how an experienced truck accident attorney in Michigan can help.
Who Can You Sue After a Truck Accident?
Truck accident cases often involve more than just the truck driver and passenger vehicle operator. If a truck crashes into your car, it may result from the driver’s negligence; however, the trucking company, parts manufacturer, truck mechanic, or other passenger vehicle driver may also be at fault.
When you work with a commercial truck lawyer from Cochran, Kroll, & Associates, P.C., we can investigate your vehicle accident to determine your options for compensation. The claims process involves filing a claim with one of the following responsible parties’ insurance companies:
In many truck accident cases, the truck driver is responsible for the crash. Driver error accounts for 98% of all vehicle accidents, and truck drivers often engage in negligent driving behavior.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), 38% of large truck accidents were due to poor decisions made by truck drivers, 28% by failure to recognize and respond to road conditions, and 12% by non-performance.
These causes included drivers falling asleep, distracted driving, driving too fast, or tailgating other vehicles. Additionally, drivers caused accidents when they couldn’t control the tractor-trailer or overcompensated during a driving maneuver.
If a truck operator’s driving led to your injuries, your attorney can help you pinpoint the action or inaction that led to the accident and hold them responsible.
If the truck driver is an employee of a trucking company, the entity may be held responsible for a portion of your damages. The FMCSA report found that 13% of accidents were caused by driver fatigue, a common problem among truck operators who work for companies that don’t follow federal guidelines for breaks and time off for drivers. It also found that 10% of collisions were due to pressure from carriers to meet tight delivery deadlines.
Additionally, trucking companies may incorrectly load cargo onto a truck. 4% of crashes happen due to cargo shifting, which occurs when a truck’s shipment causes the trailer to tip over or jackknife. Your lawyer can hold a trucking company responsible for any part it plays in the accident that caused your injuries.
Parts Manufacturer or Mechanic
Part manufacturers or mechanics that fail to notice or repair ineffective truck components can bear fault for an accident. 6% of collisions were due to tire problems, and 29% to vehicle brake problems. If your accident happened because of a tire blowout or faulty braking system, you can sue the manufacturers or mechanics that didn’t remedy the problem before letting the driver take the vehicle on the road.
State or Federal Entities
Sometimes, you can seek compensation from state or federal entities responsible for keeping highways and roads safe. 20% of truck accidents occurred due to roadway problems, indicating that road conditions, such as potholes, road markings, and traffic signals, may add to a significant portion of commercial truck accidents.
Although suing a governmental agency can be difficult, a skilled attorney from Cochran, Kroll, & Associates, P.C., can review your case and help you take the steps needed to get a fair settlement.
Other Passenger Vehicle Drivers
Large truck crashes may involve other vehicle drivers. For example, a speeding or drunk driver might swerve in front of a truck, causing the truck driver to slam on their brakes and cause an accident.
If other vehicles were involved, your attorney can determine what percentage of fault they may have played and seek compensation from their liability insurance. In many cases, this compensation is in addition to a claim you may file against the truck driver or trucking company.
How Can a Personal Injury Attorney Help?
A personal injury attorney can help you navigate the complexities associated with truck collision cases if you suffer injuries in a truck accident. The attorneys at Cochran, Kroll, & Associates, P.C. can:
- Advise you of your legal rights and what actions you can take to maximize your claim amount, like following your doctor’s treatment plan and keeping all accident-related receipts and bills.
- Write a Letter of Protection, so you receive the medical care you need while we work on getting you a fair settlement.
- File your claim within the three-year statute of limitations (two years if you bring a suit against a government entity).
- Gather evidence to support your claim, such as witness statements, police reports, W2s, medical bills and receipts, and maintenance reports or time logs.
- Negotiate on your behalf with insurance companies for maximum compensation.
- If the insurance company doesn’t pay a fair settlement, we can take your case to court to seek damages, including pain and suffering.
Speak with a Truck Accident Attorney About Your Case
The law firm of Cochran, Kroll, & Associates, P.C. is skilled at handling truck accident cases. We will walk you through every step of the personal injury claims process, beginning with a free consultation to review your case details and determine the best legal course of action.
We handle all types of vehicle accident cases, including commercial trucks, delivery vehicles, semi-trucks, and passenger vehicle collisions. Our attorneys can help you estimate a potential settlement amount for your case and seek the maximum compensation possible to help you recover and get your life back to normal.
Our contingency fee basis means we only get paid if we win our case, so there is no financial risk to you to get started. Call our law firm today at 1-866-MICH-LAW and schedule your no-obligation, free case evaluation.
Disclaimer : The information provided is general and not for legal advice. The blogs are not intended to provide legal counsel and no attorney-client relationship is created nor intended.