Commercial Truck Accidents Have Many Potential Defendants
Commercial truck accidents generally involve significantly more damage than car accidents. A typical commercial truck, when full of cargo, weighs more than thirty times as much as an average car. When combined with highway speeds, this size disparity often causes catastrophic injuries or fatalities in the event of a truck accident. Despite representing less than five percent of the vehicles on our nation’s roads, large commercial trucks are responsible for more than ten percent of all fatal crashes. The worst injuries are invariably suffered by the driver and passengers of the smaller vehicle.
According to the Missouri Department of Transportation, large commercial truck accidents are responsible for between 11% and 15% of all traffic deaths in Missouri every year. Accidents involving commercial vehicles account for more than 100 fatalities in Missouri and over 5,000 deaths in the United States annually.
Unlike a car accident, where the possible defendants are essentially the other driver and his insurance company, a key issue in a commercial truck accident is identifying all potential defendants. In addition to the commercial truck driver involved in the accident, the trucking or shipping companies, any subcontractors, the manufacturer of the vehicle, and their various insurance companies may all be obligated to compensate you for your injuries.
In order for a trucking or shipping company to be found legally liable for the driver’s negligence, you will need to show that the company exercised some degree of control over the driver. You will also need to establish the existence of an employment relationship between the company and the truck driver and that the driver was acting in the course of that employment relationship at the time of the accident.
Commercial truck accidents are not only much more dangerous than car accidents, they are also significantly more complex. Determining the proper defendants to sue is only one of the many complicating factors in a lawsuit resulting from a truck accident. If you have been injured in a commercial truck accident, it is essential that you hire an experienced attorney to handle your case.
At Wendt Law Firm P.C., our legal team will investigate your commercial truck accident to determine if you have a claim and the appropriate parties to sue. We will then negotiate a settlement or represent you at trial to ensure you receive the full monetary compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation. We will only receive a fee in the event of a successful resolution of your case.