In a typical car accident between two consumer drivers, parties exchange insurance information, build claims, and file them with their respective insurers or with the insurers of the other party. In most cases, the only potential defendants are the drivers and the claims hang on evidence that one or both drivers caused the accident.
In contrast, truck accidents regularly involve several other parties beyond any of the drivers involved in the accident itself, such as the company that hired the driver of the commercial truck, the company that packed the freight load, or the company that repairs the vehicle and keeps it maintained for the road. Depending on the causes of the accident itself, any or all of these parties may be liable for the accident, and may serve as defendants in a personal injury claim.
If you must build your own personal injury claim, be sure to carefully research your case. Building a compelling claim is not simple work, and may require more time and effort than you realize. Do not put off working on this important to step on the way to fair compensation as you recover from your injuries.
Who hired the driver?
In most cases, the driver of the commercial vehicle is driving because he or she is delivering a load of freight for some third party, not hauling their own personal property. If this is the case, then it is necessary to determine the relationship of the driver to the party hiring him or her for the job.
If the driver operates as an independent contractor, then the hiring party enjoys some protections against lawsuits, because the driver is not technically an employee of the company. However, even if the hiring company does not consider the driver an employee, the law may think differently. Careful research can help you determine if the driver is actually an independent contractor, or if he or she suffers from employee misclassification from the hiring party.
Who prepared the freight?
Frequently, the individual who hauls a load of freight from one place to another is not the same person who packs the load to have it shipped. If a third party packed the load, and the load itself shifted during the drive, then the party who packed the load may bear some liability for the accident.
Who repairs the truck and maintains it?
It is also possible that the party who repairs and maintains the vehicle bears responsibility, if the accident occurred because of faulty repairs or poor maintenance. Be sure to find out if some third party mechanic's shop performed repairs recently, and if so, which components of the truck received attention. It is possible that the repair shop bears liability for the accident.
Building a claim is tedious and time consuming work. Be sure to address your own claims as soon as possible to understand the full scope of what you must do to assemble a strong claim and keep your rights and privileges secure while you seek fair compensation for your injuries.