For victims that find themselves in an accident with a commercial truck, you are going to have a massive number of questions on how to approach the situation afterwards. Questions may range from what to do for any injuries you have sustained, when to reach out to a lawyer, and who is liable for the truck accident.
To first give a brief scope of the number of large and commercial truck accidents that occur on a yearly basis, let’s look at the data. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that there was a total of 5,005 people killed in fatal accidents involving large trucks in 2019. For 2019, there was also a higher percentage of crashes that involved large trucks when compared to other vehicle crashes including your everyday passenger car and motorcycles.
In these cases, who can be held liable for a truck accident will depend on several factors – including what state the accident happens in and if they are a no-fault or at-fault state.
Who Can Be Held Liable for A Truck Accident?
So, who can be held liable for a truck accident is a big question for victims that have been involved in an accident where a large truck was involved. Understanding what goes into determining liability in these kinds of accidents can be helpful – especially when there are so many factors that can determine who is liable.
First off, liability can largely depend on if a state is a no-fault or an at-fault state. Tennessee is an at-fault state. So, this means that for the driver who is at fault for an accident, they will be held responsible for paying the other driver(s) or pedestrians involved an appropriate amount of compensation or damages through their insurance company.
Damages can include:
- Lost wages
- Medical costs
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
Evidence such as photos, videos, and eyewitness accounts will typically be used by insurance companies, the police, and other involved parties to determine who was at fault.
Commercial truck drivers are often working for companies in a professional capacity. If it is found that a truck driver or the trucking company they work for were have committed trucking violations, liability might also be determined based off of those violations as well.
Are There Other Parties That Might Be Liable?
While the driver and the trucking company themselves are the most immediate parties that can be thought of in terms of liability in an accident with a commercial truck, there are other parties that could potentially be held liable.
Some of these parties include:
- Truck manufacturers
- Parts manufacturers
- Local entities that maintain roadways
- Owner of the truck’s cargo
- Mechanics who have serviced the truck
As you can see, an accident that involves a commercial truck can quickly become complex. There is the potential for more than one person or party to be possibly liable in a commercial truck accident.
The investigation that will follow an accident where a commercial truck is involved will typically reveal both small and large details that contributed to the cause of the accident – whether it was through human error, trucking violations, faulty mechanics, or other reasons.
With that in mind, it can be beneficial for victims involved in this type of accident to speak with a Nashville truck accident lawyer. They can provide expert insight into each individual case and take in all of the small details that may come into play.
What To Do Following a Truck Accident
With an idea of who may be held liable for a commercial truck accident, here are a few steps to take following an accident where you are a victim.
- Seek medical attention, even if you think you don’t need any. This documents any potential injuries and ensures your safety.
- Collect photos, videos, and other evidence of the accident scene. This can include eyewitness statements and contact information, insurance information of drivers, and police reports.
- Contact a Nashville truck accident lawyer. Should you seek damages following the accident, a lawyer can assess your case and provide the most relevant assistance.
About The Author
Heit Law, LLC is a personal injury law firm with offices based in Columbus, Ohio and Nashville, Tennessee. Their Nashville truck accident lawyer has years of experience handling cases that involve personal injuries – including both minor and more extensive injuries from car accidents, dog bites, and commercial truck accidents.