Driving alongside a truck can be intimidating, even if you’ve been on the road for years. Truck drivers have to take particular precautions if they’re going to keep motorists and pedestrians safe from harm. In the wake of undue driver negligence, you and your loved ones could suffer serious losses.
That said, it’s not always truck drivers who bear the responsibility for a truck accident. Under other circumstances, the evidence at the scene of your accident may point to another party. How, then, do you determine who to hold liable for a truck accident in Pennsylvania? You can call a truck accident lawyer to begin your investigation.
Who to Hold Liable for a Truck Accident
When it comes time to address who caused your truck accident, you may find that the parties that can be held liable for your losses are many in number. You don’t have to find yourself overwhelmed by your options. Instead, you can work with a lawyer to determine which of the following parties you can most effectively take to civil court.
Independent Truck Drivers
There are some truck drivers on the road today who operate as independent contractors. These truck drivers are contract employees who often work with trucking agencies to fill in when a fleet is missing drivers.
If you get into an accident with an independent truck driver, that truck driver bears the responsibility for your accident. You can take your complaint up against that individual and subsequently benefit from what insurance coverage they may have available to them.
However, truck agencies may be quick to claim that a full-time employee is actually a contractor. This re-labeling of full-time employees often helps trucking companies avoid having to pay out settlements for severe accidents. If you suspect foul play in your court case, our team can bring the nature of a truck driver’s employment into question.
Should you get into an accident with a driver employed by a company, your circumstances change. Instead of filing a claim against that individual driver, you may have the right to bring a suit against the company that driver works for.
While the trucking company may have a legal team on standby, our attorneys can work with you to prevent inadequate settlement offers. We can also step in if you think the company may try to intimidate you out of your right to legal action.
Truck Manufacturers and Mechanics
Truck mechanics and manufacturers are beholden to as much responsibility for a truck’s overall safety as the person who drives it. As such, mechanical failures can fall on these parties’ heads. You can work with an attorney to assess the state of a truck if a driver claims that a mechanical failure resulted in your accident.
Alternatively, keep an eye out for recalls detailing the dangerous nature of certain truck parts. If you can identify a recall that a truck company either ignored or that other people have taken to court, you can act on that legal precedent.
Truck agencies and independent corporations can hire truck packers to help them deliver their goods across the nation. These packers must take particular care when loading their big rigs. An uneven distribution of weight throughout the bed of a truck can see a truck driver lose control of their vehicle.
If a truck driver cites an uneven load as the force behind your accident, we can investigate their claims. We can bring truck packers forward for interviews during the process of discovery. If the evidence from your accident points to an uneven truckload, we can hold either the packers or their employer responsible for your losses.
Other Negligent Parties
There’s a chance that a party not named here may contribute to your truck accident losses. If the evidence points to a third party, our team can follow that lead. We can work with you to establish a precedent for your case and ensure you have every opportunity to pursue compensation for your losses.
How to Establish Truck Accident Liability
When determining who to hold liable for a Pennsylvania truck accident, we approach your accident from two angles. First, we take a look at the evidence found at the scene of your accident. If the evidence points to a particular party, we can bring that party forward and discuss your right to compensation.
We also consider the duty of care doctrine. This doctrine states that all drivers in Pennsylvania are obligated to take reasonable care when on the road. If we find proof that a truck driver or similar party engaged in negligence, we can file your civil claim while citing the duty of care owed to you.
Filing Your Truck Accident Claim Within Pennsylvania’s Statute of Limitations
Determining who to hold liable for your truck accident is only the first step you should take when filing a civil complaint. You need to bring together evidence of liability and your losses within Pennsylvania’s statute of limitations. 42 Pa. Cons. Stat. §5542 permits injured parties to file their complaints within two years of the day an accident takes place.
When you file your truck accident claim within Pennsylvania’s statute of limitations, you fight for the right to summon your liable party. You can summon such a party to either settlement negotiations or a truck accident trial. Larger corporations may prefer to engage in settlement negotiations to avoid time in court.
That said, your truck accident claim doesn’t lock you into a particular course of action. You can learn more about what rights an approved claim awards you during an initial case consultation.
You Can Discuss Truck Accident Liability With Our Team
Before you can file a civil complaint with a local justice, you need to know who you want to hold accountable for your roadway losses. Unfortunately, establishing liability in a truck accident complaint isn’t always straightforward. Truck accident attorneys in Pennsylvania can make the process easier.