When a person is in an accident between two or more standard vehicles, the legal options are usually clear. There is usually one insurance carrier for each car and in states such as Florida (which happens to be a no-fault state) those insurance companies will cover the damaged and medical expenses. If the dollar amount goes over what the no-fault limits are, you can seek additional money from the responsible party with the help of a truck accident lawyer.
When a person is in an accident with a semi-truck, it is more complicated. Where to go from there is determined by whose fault the accident was and to what degree the courts are assigning liability. Further, there could be more than one insurance carrier involved for the truck.
In the case of an accident with a truck, it may be decided that the trucking company is responsible, or it may be the truck driver who is liable, finally it could be a faulty part or piece of equipment on the truck that caused the accident, which involves the manufacturer of the part.
The courts could determine that any of these different parties can be held responsible, depending upon the percentage of liability assigned to each of them. Of course, the driver of the automobile could also carry a percentage of the fault.
Suing The Truck Driver
In many cases, the driver is legally negligent. Perhaps he or she was driving recklessly or too fast for road conditions. Maybe he or she did not complete all the training required by the law to operate the truck.
If the driver was driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or if he or she was exceeding the number of hours he or she can drive (they are ordered to keep a logbook) or if he or she falsified their records, they can be liable for the accident.
Suing The Truck Line
Even though it may be found that the driver was negligent, the truck line is responsible for the actions of their employees while they are driving their trucks in the commission of their jobs. The truck line is responsible for making sure they hire qualified drivers and that all the rules and laws are being followed. They should have standard procedures in place that verify the records are complete and verified.
Even if the truck driver is being sued for the accident, the truck line can be held accountable in many cases.
Suing The Manufacturer Of The Truck Or The Truck Parts Manufacturer
If there is a defective part on the truck, there is a chance you can sue the manufacturer of the truck part. However, if the truck manufacturer knew about the defective part and did nothing to protect the public, they too may hold liability in the accident.
It is difficult to know what to do following a devastating accident. Therefore, you need a qualified truck accident attorney. Be sure to keep all your information, reports, and medical bills and contact a truck accident attorney as soon as possible to begin to unravel this complicated trail of responsibility.