You can sue someone personally after a truck accident. A personal lawsuit is not your only option when seeking compensation, however, and you may speak with your lawyer about bringing an insurance claim instead. A lawyer will become familiar with the facts about your accident before recommending that you pursue either an insurance claim or lawsuit.
In some instances, you may pursue an insurance claim targeting one defendant and a lawsuit targeting others.
Who Can Be the Subject of a Lawsuit or an Insurance Claim
Naming someone as a defendant in either a lawsuit or insurance claim generally requires that person to be liable for your accident. Others could be liable even if they were not technically negligent, as may be the case for the employer of a truck driver who caused your accident.
A Truck Driver Could Be Primarily Liable
A truck driver may be the party who is most obviously liable for your accident. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) explains that drivers are typically the reason why accidents happen, and a truck driver may be the primary reason why your accident happened.
Drivers have a responsibility to operate their rig with extreme caution, as their vehicles may cause greater damage than smaller vehicles could. Some behaviors that may cause a truck accident are:
- Driving under the influence of alcohol, as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) explains that truck drivers may have a lower standard for intoxication than other drivers
- Driving above the posted speed limit
- Failing to check blind spots before merging lanes or making turns
- Attempting to accelerate through a yellow light
- Failing to stop completely at yield and stop signs
- Driving dangerously close behind other vehicles
If the truck driver involved in your accident caused the collision, then you may sue them personally after your truck accident.
A Trucking Company and Any Parent Companies May Also Be Liable
Truckers may generally work for a trucking company. This company may lease the driver the rig that they drive and oversee the driver’s delivery routes. These companies may also be responsible for:
- Ensuring that a driver’s truck is safe
- Enforcing consequences for a driver’s safety violations
- Testing drivers for drug and alcohol use
The trucking company that employed a truck driver at the time of your accident could be liable for the harm that you have suffered. In addition, any parent company that owns the trucking company may also be liable.
You May Sue Third Parties Who Contributed to Your Accident
Though truck drivers and their employers may be most commonly liable for truck accidents, third parties who contributed to your accident could also owe you compensation. Truck manufacturers and manufacturers of specific truck parts like brakes or tires may have done shoddy work that led to your accident. These sort of third-party failures could lead your lawyer to name such parties as defendants in your case.
You May Want to Work with a Lawyer
Issues of liability and other lawsuit-specific concerns may be outside of your current knowledge. You do not have to spend the time and effort required to learn about lawsuits, as you may hire a lawyer to handle your case for you. Your lawyer will be your representative in all matters related to your lawsuit.
A lawyer can also complete an insurance claim if your case does not require pursuing a lawsuit. Your lawyer may make the following case for negligence against any defendants named in your lawsuit or claim:
- The defendant owed you a duty of care, which is a duty to act reasonably.
- The defendant did not honor their duty of care to you.
- The defendant’s breach of a duty of care contributed to your accident.
- The losses from your accident were caused by the defendant’s failures.
The American Bar Association (ABA) explains that someone does not have to intentionally harm you in order to be negligent. Even unintentional acts can qualify as negligence and may make someone responsible for covering your losses.
Losses for Which You May Recover Compensation
Once your lawyer figures out which parties are responsible for your losses, they may determine which specific losses those defendants owe you compensation for. Some of the covered losses that may come from a truck accident are:
- The cost of surgeries, emergency care, and other medical treatment
- The cost of accident-related medications
- The income you cannot earn because of injury
- Permanent disability
- Past and future pain and suffering
- Past and future mental anguish
- The cost of repairing vehicle damage
Your lawyer will not receive compensation for their work unless they secure awards for you.
Call an Attorney Today
We can serve as your lawyers following a truck accident. Call Bernstein & Poisson today at (702) 633-3333 to complete a free consultation.