One aspect oftruck accidents that can be quite important but complicated, is determining who, or what company, is responsible for the driver’s negligence.
Eighteen wheelers (semi trucks) consist of a tractor truck and a trailer. Each may have separate owners. But wait, it gets even more complicated. The tractor can be rented/leased. The driver can be self-employed or work for the owner of the trailer, the truck owner or the leasor of the truck. Figuring out who to hold accountable can be a challenge. You may even have a maintenance contractor, whose negligent maintenance resulted in critical equipment failure. Think brakes, steering, lights, etc. Sometimes a component part fails and has a role in a crash. The part manufacture or even the vehicle manufacturer might belong in the case.
So why are all these things so important? Trucking companies have plenty of insurance…don’t they?
Sometimes, but the insurance may be inadequate for catastrophic injuries and the insurance companies will look for any escape. They pay people full-time (insurance adjusters) to try to avoid or mitigate payment. If the trucking company they insure can transfer liability to another company, they will. In a time of high fuel prices and economic slow down, some trucking companies are struggling financially. Finding the responsible party might be much harder than proving how the accident actually happened.
Early discovery and investigation is extremely important, first to tie down physical causes, then to start on the trail toward those responsible. A case with clear liability, but uncollectible defendants, could leave a terribly injured victim without compensation. At The Moore Law Firm, these are issues we have been dealing with for many years. Experience counts, and so does your choice of law firm. We offer immediate, free initial evaluations.