There are significant differences between filing a car accident claim and filing one for a truck accident, not the least of which is determining liability. In a car accident, it can typically be established that one or more drivers contributed to the accident, but when a commercial vehicle is involved, even accidents that seem to be driver-caused may be much more complex. This is just one reason it is wise to speak with one of the truck accident lawyers at Watkins, Lourie, Roll & Chance as soon as possible following injury.
Can I Sue the Truck Driver?
Truck drivers who cause accidents can be held liable for their actions. According to the Large Truck Crash Causation Study (LTCCS), truck driver error is a factor in 87% of all truck accidents. This study, conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), found that within that 87%:
- 38% of truck crashes were related to truck driver “decision,” under which the FMCSA includes driving too fast, misjudging the speed of other vehicles, and/or following surrounding vehicles too closely
- 28% of truck crashes were related to truck driver “recognition,” under which the FMCSA includes cellphone use, eating and drinking, and all other forms of distraction
- 12% of truck crashes were caused by “driver non-performance,” which includes falling asleep, having a medical emergency or becoming physically impaired
Clearly, in some of these examples, truck driver negligence is an issue. In cases like these, you may be able to hold the trucker accountable for damages related to the accident including medical expenses and personal pain and suffering. However, things can become very complex when additional factors are brought in - and these can make seeking fair compensation much more difficult.
Can I Sue the Trucking Company?
29% of the truck accidents from which data was collected for the LTCCS were caused by a loss of vehicle control due to, “...cargo shift, vehicle systems failure, poor road conditions, or other reasons” which may be beyond the control of the trucker. In these cases, other parties may be liable for your injuries.
For example, if a truck accident is caused by poor road conditions, a municipality may bear some responsibility. If your accident was the result of cargo shift, the company that loaded and secured the trailer may be liable. If the accident was the result of vehicle system failure, mechanics and parts manufacturers may be liable. And if the trucker was speeding, driving aggressively, or skipping sleep to make a delivery, the company he or she works for may be liable.
Trucking companies can place unrealistic expectations on truckers. As a competitive industry, truckers are often forced to meet schedules that require unsafe behaviors. In these cases, the trucking company may be liable for any damages a trucker causes - and may be an additional party in your truck accident lawsuit.
Where do I Turn for Help?
When faced with the complexities of a truck accident, it is always a good idea to talk to an attorney who can help make sense of your options. The truck accident attorneys at our Atlanta office have decades of experience investigating large truck crashes to establish liability and a proven record of holding these parties accountable through swift legal action.
The truck accident lawyers at Watkins, Lourie, Roll & Chance understand how confusing and frightening it can be to face the trucking industry alone. We are here to protect your rights and best interests while fighting tooth and nail for the full compensation you are due.
Call 404-760-7400 to schedule a complimentary consultation at Watkins, Lourie Roll & Chance. We proudly represent victims of serious injury living in Savannah, Decatur, Columbus, Augusta, and all surrounding areas of Georgia.