When a truck accident occurs on the highway, it’s rarely a minor incident. Whether it’s a semi-truck or a heavy-duty vehicle, the injuries sustained can be life-threatening, especially when the collision is with a passenger vehicle. It’s important for Georgia drivers to know the facts about who may be liable in the event of such a harrowing incident to ensure that they are justly compensated.
Potential liable parties
Auto accidents involving trucks are more complicated than collisions between passenger vehicles for a number of reasons. It’s much more clean-cut when one person crashes into another person’s car, but for a professional driver operating a company vehicle on the payroll of a trucking company, there are many directions in which the finger may be pointed.
In some cases, there are multiple parties to be held accountable for personal injury in the same accident. The liable parties when a collision with a truck occurs could include the following:
- Truck driver
- Trucking company
- Truck manufacturer
- Government entity
- Shipping company
- Truck mechanic
How liability is passed off
Often, the liability lies with the company that the truck driver was working for at the time of the accident. There are, however, extenuating circumstances in which the truck driver may be sued. This occurs when a driver is proven to have been negligent or reckless or to have made some other error on the road. Drivers are often the ones sued if they were under the influence of drugs or alcohol or even if there’s evidence that the driver was overly tired. Distracted driving is another common cause of the person operating the vehicle being held accountable.
Trucking companies often seek to avoid lawsuits with the claim that the driver was not an actual employee but an independent contractor. It’s only when a working relationship between the company and driver is clearly shown that these companies are forced to accept liability.
After a collision with a truck, it’s not always easy to determine who is liable for the accident. By carefully going down the list of potential parties, accident victims may know who to pursue for compensation for their damages.