Who to Sue After a Semi-Truck Accident
Sept. 21, 2022
Semi-trucks are massive, heavy, and complex pieces of equipment. When those responsible for operating one fail their duty to provide a standard of care for everyone else on the roadway, the results can be disastrous and even deadly.
If you have been injured in an 18-wheeler accident, or if someone you love has been incapacitated by their injuries or has died as the result, you are probably wondering how you will pay the medical bills, make up for the income you have lost up to now and going forward, and how the estate of your loved one will pay for funeral and burial costs.
Ronald E. Stutzman, Jr. has watched far too many clients struggle in the aftermath of truck accidents in Flowood, Pearl, Brandon, Richland, Clinton, and Rankin County, Mississippi. First, the semi-truck crash irrevocably changes their lives. Then, the trucking company and its attorneys try to deny financial responsibility for the damage they have done.
That is why The Stutzman Law Firm, PLLC is dedicated to representing the victims of the negligence that causes the most egregious harm to victims who happened to be sharing the roadway with a semi-truck. Ronald E. Stutzman, Jr. helps truck accident victims hold the negligent party accountable.
Who May Be Liable in a Truck Accident?
When an 18-wheeler hits the road, there are many parties responsible for ensuring that it will be operated safely. Depending on the circumstances of the cause of the crash, which your personal injury attorney will investigate thoroughly, there are potentially multiple individuals and entities which can be held liable for the damages you incur.
The truck driver, of course, is responsible for the safe operation of the truck and trailer on the roadway. If the driver fails to properly inspect the vehicle prior to operation, which the driver is required to do, or if the driver has exceeded the maximum number of hours on the road, drives too fast for conditions, is fatigued or hungover, or simply fails to pay attention while driving, they can be liable for the crash.
The truck company is liable for the actions or inactions of its driver. Any time someone causes an accident while in the employment or agency of someone else, that employer is liable as well as the individual employee. The company may be responsible for not training the driver properly, ignoring a driver’s poor safety record, or allowing a driver to exceed the maximum hours allowed on the roadway, risking safety to make profits.
If any mechanical or parts failure of the truck or trailer caused or contributed to the cause of the crash, the manufacturer or supplier of the failed parts can be legally liable. They have an obligation to ensure the safety of what they produce and sell.
In some semi-truck accidents, shifting of cargo causes or contributes to the cause of a truck crash. Those who were responsible for loading and restraining cargo properly could be held liable.
If a maintenance issue caused or contributed to cause the crash, such as worn brakes, tires, hydraulic systems, or hitching systems, and maintenance personnel knew or should have known the safety of the truck and trailer were compromised, they can be held liable as well.
In some crashes, liability may rest in full or part on the driver of the other vehicle involved in the crash. Mississippi is a pure comparative fault state, which means fault can be assigned to more than one party; however, a victim can recover damages even if they shared fault for the crash.
What Makes Someone Liable
for a Semi-Truck Crash?
Particularly due to the complexity of a semi-truck, there are multiple factors that might be determined to contribute to fault for a crash. An experienced truck accident attorney will fully investigate every potential contribution to the crash and every potential party that can be held responsible.
There are factors regarding the truck and the driver, such as fatigue, inadequate training, excessive hours on the road, driving too fast for conditions, and distracted driving, to name a few.
Any negligence of the vehicle driver will be considered as well. Just as in any accident, those factors include speed, distractions, inattentiveness, failures to maintain safe distances or obey traffic signs and signals, and driving under the influence.
The road and weather could also be factors used to mitigate liability. Road hazards and weather conditions can contribute to causing a crash. Some examples include construction zones, slick roadways, objects in the roadway, and others.
What Should I Do if I or a Loved One Has Been Involved in a Truck Accident?
If you have been injured in a semi-truck accident, or if a loved one suffered incapacitating injuries or was killed, call a personal injury attorney with experience representing truck accident victims right now.
The preservation of evidence is critical in truck accidents. Truck companies and their insurers will attempt to make repairs and get trucks back on the roadway as soon as possible. Your truck accident attorney will immediately demand the preservation of all potential evidence from all potentially liable parties and conduct a full investigation on your behalf.
If you are a victim, make sure you receive all necessary medical treatment for your injuries. You will need medical records linking your injuries to the crash. If your loved one was incapacitated or killed, you also will need medical records to support a personal injury claim you file on their behalf or a wrongful death claim.
Truck Accidents Attorney
Serving Flowood, Mississippi
Ronald E. Stutzman, Jr. can help you determine liability, advise you on your legal options for pursuing a claim, and guide you through the entire process. If you live in Flowood, Pearl, Brandon, Richland, Clinton, or Rankin County, Mississippi, contact him immediately to begin.
Time is of the essence, particularly with a truck accident claim. Call The Stutzman Law Firm, PLLC now.