Accidents involving commercial tractor-trailers are more likely to cause serious injury than those involving automobiles. Commercial trucks are those that are used in the course of business and/or for the transport of commercial goods, including tanker trucks, 18 wheel tractor-trailers, delivery trucks and other large trucks. These trucks can weigh over 80,000 pounds, while the average car weighs 3,000 pounds.
If you or your family member is injured or killed by a commercial truck, there are special Vehicle Code sections that apply only to commercial truck drivers and trucking companies. These special licensing requirements generally make truck accidents harder to defend and easier to win for plaintiffs.
Anyone who is injured or has had a loved one killed in a truck accident can sue as long as some other person or entity is at fault for the accident. This includes adults and children (who can sue through guardians or parents); and even truck drivers if another person or entity was at fault for the accident.
If you are the victim in a truck accident and are confused about who to sue—the driver or the company the driver works for—you can do both.
Any person or entity that was at fault for causing the accident can be sued. This includes the truck driver and the trucking company, the owner of the trailer, the shipper, as well as any other driver, person or entity who in any way contributed to the accident, such as the manufacturer of one of the vehicles involved in the accident, the manufacturer of a tire that contributed to the accident or the owner of any public or private property whose negligence contributed to the accident.
Because there are so many factors that come into play in truck accident lawsuits, it’s wisest to seek legal help as soon as possible. Large trucking companies will perform their own investigation immediately after the accident, putting you at a vast disadvantage. It is important that you retain an attorney who immediately investigates the case to attempt to pin down liability on any potential at-fault defendants.
This post was intended to provide general information only and is not intended as specific legal advice. You should not rely upon this information alone, but should consult legal counsel regarding the application of the laws and regulations discussed and as applied to your specific case or circumstance.