One of the elements that make semi-truck accidents more complicated than regular accidents is that multiple parties may be held responsible for the accident based on why the accident happened. If you are pursuing a lawsuit after a trucking accident, you need to be aware of all the parties that could be held responsible.
The first person who can be held responsible is the person who was driving the rig. That individual should have their own insurance. Every driver, even commercial drivers, hold responsibility for their actions on the road. The driver should be included as at least one of the defendants in the case.
The Owner of the Truck
Second, do not assume that the person behind the wheel of the truck actually owns the truck. In many cases, truckers lease out trucks from other companies. You need to find who actually owns the truck that hit you. The owner of a vehicle is often held responsible for what happens when their vehicle is in use, regardless of if the owner was present when their vehicle was in an accident or not.
The Owner of the Freight
Third, with semi-trucks, there is another owner to consider. That is the person or company that owes the freight that the vehicle was transporting. The owner of the freight is responsible for what happens to and with their cargo and the vehicles that are transporting their cargo. Freight owners can also put undue pressure on drivers to get their cargo to a certain destination within a tight time table, which can contribute to the responsibility of the accident as the owner of the freight that is being pulled. Additionally, the owner of the freight is hiring that individual or company, so they should have done their due diligence to make sure that they were hiring a competent driver.
The Trucking Company
Layers of ownership are multilayered within the semi-truck world. Sometimes, the driver may drive for a different trucking company, while towing cargo for another company, all the while the vehicle is owned by yet another party. Sometimes, the trucking company is the same as the owner of the truck and the owner of the freight, but this is not always the case.
Manufacture of Parts
If a particular part failed on the semi-truck and contributed towards that accident, the manufacturer and installer of that party could be help responsible as well. Any parts defect should be tracked back to the installed and manufacture in order to assign responsibility.
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