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Can I File a Lawsuit After a Semi-Truck Accident—and Who Is Responsible?

  1. Can I File a Lawsuit After a Semi-Truck Accident—and Who Is Responsible?
  2. Liability 101: Trucking Companies, Drivers, and Other Parties
  3. Filing a Commercial Truck Accident Claim or Truck Accident Lawsuit
  4. Without Action, Evidence Might Disappear After a Trucking Accident
  5. To Understand What Happened and What to Do Next, You Need to Talk to a Personal Injury Lawyer
  6. Hurt in a Texas Crash? Will Adams Law Firm Is Ready to Support You

Can I File a Lawsuit After a Semi-Truck Accident—and Who Is Responsible?

After a truck crash, you deserve to understand what happened to you so you can rebuild your life. However, pinpointing precisely who is to blame for the wreck so you can hold them accountable can be tough. Truck crashes with passenger vehicles are notoriously complex, and understanding who is at fault is no easy feat.

Why are these accidents and the process of understanding who to blame so complicated? Keep reading to learn more.

Liability 101: Trucking Companies, Drivers, and Other Parties

To be “liable” means to be responsible for something that happened. When we talk about liability in an 18-wheeler crash, we are talking about holding the people, companies, or parties who made a mistake responsible for their actions.

To correctly determine who is liable for your injuries, you need to understand what happened and what went wrong. However, many factors can contribute to a crash, and it’s not unusual to have more than one factor influence the crash, or to find more than one person or company liable.

An experienced truck crash lawyer can quickly get started by investigating the situation to determine if:

  • There was any mechanical or parts failure, and whether it was due to improper maintenance or poor manufacturing.
  • The driver was driving responsibly, or if they were under the influence, not paying attention, or drowsy.
  • There was any semi-truck driver error.
  • The company was pushing the driver to work more than is healthy and safe.
  • The truck’s electronic records show any other examples of misconduct.
  • The big rig driver has a history of dangerous behavior.
  • Every protocol was followed correctly (for example, loading).
  • If anything else was amiss that may have caused the crash.

It’s common for multiple issues to cause a crash with a commercial vehicle. For example, a trucking company may push their driver to drive farther and rest less, resulting in improper loading, ignoring parts that need to be maintained, and leading the driver to make costly mistakes behind the wheel to meet those quotas.

In addition to the trucking company and their driver, other liable parties may include:

  • The company who does maintenance or repairs on the truck
  • A manufacturer, for instance, the company that makes the truck’s tires
  • Another driver on the road at the time of the crash
  • The person who loaded the large truck’s cargo
  • The truck driver’s spotter or co-driver

When there is more than one person or company responsible for a crash, it means there will be multiple insurance companies involved in the resulting insurance claim or lawsuit. In these situations, an experienced truck crash lawyer who understands the process of determining liability, preserving the evidence, and fighting for your rights is an invaluable resource for injured people.

Your Truck Accident Case Gets More Complicated if the Driver Is an Independent Contractor

Hiring a driver as an independent contractor is common among trucking companies because if the contracted driver causes a crash, the company won’t be held accountable for its mistakes behind the wheel. However, how these laws affect your case depends on your unique situation, including factors like if the driver had their own truck and insurance, how much the trucking company was able to influence the driver’s actions, and more.

If the driver of the truck who hurt you was a contractor, or if you don’t know if they were an employee or not, don’t wait to contact an attorney.

Filing a Commercial Truck Accident Claim or Truck Accident Lawsuit

After a trucking accident, most people start their journey to recovery by filing an insurance claim with the insurance company. You’ll deal with an insurance adjuster while you navigate this process. This person is an insurance company employee, and their job is to settle your claim as quickly as possible. However, the adjuster isn’t allowed or qualified to give legal advice that would help you make a good decision, so if you don’t have a clear understanding of the value of your truck accident injuries and who should be responsible for the wrongdoing, it can be all too easy to get taken advantage of.

At this point in the process, many injured people choose to hire a truck accident lawyer. An attorney can handle negotiations and communications with the insurance company and demand fair compensation. If the company refuses to offer a fair settlement offer amount, an attorney can help you initiate a lawsuit against the liable parties, whether that’s the trucking company, the trucker, or someone else.

“Will treats his clients with great kindness and compassion. He fully understands the pain and injustice each victim is going through. This compassion and understanding allows Will to prosecute your case to the fullest. Will is tenacious in pursuing what he feels is the correct settlement for his clients.”

- B & ES – Dallas, TX

“Will, Chris & Sarah. K and I just want to thank you so much for everything you’ve done for us and our family. Throughout this process you have kept us informed and been patient with us (especially me) as we navigated through unchartered territory. Putting things in your hands allowed Karl and I to focus on him getting better.”

- SC – Katy, TX

“Hi Will, I just wanted to take a minute and let you and your wonderful staff know just how much we appreciate each one of you! All of you have been so great to us. Y’all have always answered any and all questions immediately and never left us hanging or wondering about anything. All of you have made this.”

- SB – Katy, TX

"Dear Sarah, you are the best legal assistant in the history of such creatures of legend and lore. (And Brian is in the tribe too) Do take a copy of this email to your next annual performance review... you have raised the bar. Thank you for all your help!"

- AM – Houston, TX

"I wanted to thank you both for a job well done and for an outcome that far exceeded my expectations. I appreciated your expertise and your thoroughness of preparation, as well as keeping me informed of the possible outcomes at each major point.Will, I think that Chris did an excellent job and wanted to bring that to your attention."

- MJ – Katy, TX

Without Action, Evidence Might Disappear After a Trucking Accident

To understand the full scope of the vehicle accident (and to uncover any corporate wrongdoing) you must act quickly. Trucking companies can legally erase the data from dashcams and electronic logs within a certain time frame. However, filing an insurance claim or lawsuit prevents them from doing so without risking getting in a lot of legal trouble. Even surveillance footage from nearby gas stations or other public cameras captured the event could be erased within a few days unless you act fast to protect it.

An experienced attorney will be an incredible resource to you and your family if you need to understand what happened and preserve the evidence that proves it. Not only do we understand the complex process and how to navigate the legal system, we also know how to protect and support our clients as they begin to recover and heal. Your recovery shouldn’t be a fight. You deserve to heal in peace.

When you come to us right away after a crash, we’ll get to work doing what we do best: holding wrongdoers accountable.

RELATED: Hurt in a Texas Car Accident? Here’s What to Do

To Understand What Happened and What to Do Next, You Need to Talk to a Personal Injury Lawyer

When it comes to determining liability in your truck crash claim, there is no better resource than speaking with a truck accident attorney. Our team knows the Greater Katy area and Texas, because this is our home. We’ve fought and won for countless people that we call neighbors and friends, and it’s our honor to be part of your recovery. We are committed to doing what’s right by our clients, no matter what.

When you come to us after a crash, our legal team will make sure you understand the truck accident claim process, your options, and what to do next—especially if your claim is complex, you’re suffering from serious injuries, and there are multiple people or companies who made mistakes that hurt you or your loved one. To learn more about our firm, our approach, and how we can help, please don’t hesitate to give our office a call, or send us a message. We would love to speak with you.

Hurt in a Texas Crash? Will Adams Law Firm Is Ready to Support You

Your case matters to us. We’re ready to speak with you about what happened in a private, no-strings-attached consultation. To schedule your time with our team of personal injury attorneys today, please call our office at 1-800-559-0593, or fill out our contact form.

We look forward to speaking with you!

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.

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