Drivers of private passenger vehicles involved in collisions will typically exchange insurance information and file a police report. The insurance companies involved will then determine who was at fault. If one driver was negligent and caused the other driver to suffer injuries, the victim may pursue a lawsuit for damages to cover medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering.
However, collision involving commercial trucks are usually more complex because more than one defendant (the party being sued) might be responsible for the victim’s injuries. Even when the crash involves speeding, distraction or drowsiness, commercial trucking collisions can require complex lawsuits in which multiple parties are sued.
Why are trucking lawsuits more complex?
Because trucking is a commercial enterprise, many parties, besides the driver, might be involved in causing the crash. They often include:
- Employers: Trucking companies are responsible for hiring adequately trained drivers with solid driving habits or for providing appropriate training to ensure that their drivers are operating safely. These companies must also ensure that drivers are not violating regulations governing driver hours, drug use and others. Companies that fail to ensure their drivers are operating safely might be responsible for the harm caused.
- Other businesses: The driver or trucking company might lease the truck or equipment from another company. If the truck or equipment is faulty and was not maintained properly, that other company may be liable.
- Other employees: Trucking companies might use other employees to ensure that cargo is loaded and secured properly. If other company employees were negligent and caused the harm, they might be named in the lawsuit.
- Manufacturers: Truck manufacturers may sell vehicles with design or manufacturing defects. Similarly, companies that make parts or replacement parts for trucks may also be liable if those defects caused the crash. Faulty brake pads or faulty tires are examples of this.
Every case is different
Truck crashes often involve complex facts and multiple parties. Because of this, individuals who were injured in a trucking collision may find it helpful to consult with an attorney who has experience in trucking litigation to discuss their options.