In most accidents, the issue of liability is typically a clear matter. Usually, the driver found to be at fault holds liability for property damage and injuries. One exception to this is when the accident involves a tractor-trailer. Because of the size of these vehicles and their weight, many of these vehicles cause catastrophic injury when involved in an accident. When it comes to who pays for those injuries, it can be a complex matter. The responsible party can be any one of the following: the driver, the company that owns the truck, the company that rents the truck, the company whose materials are being transported, and a few other possibilities, as the West Palm Beach Patch reports.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, there are more than 5,000 fatal 18-wheeler accidents that result in death each year. Approximately 500,000 accidents occur that involve tractor-trailers each year. Information that was pulled from Florida’s state crash repository shows that in 2017, there were 42,775 accidents that involved a commercial vehicle.
Before a civil liability lawsuit can be successful, negligence must be proven. A truck driver or operator may be found negligent for a variety of reasons, such as driving while drowsy, driving while intoxicated, speeding, failure to maintain the truck, carrying a heavier load than legally allowed, and failure to obey traffic laws.
When it comes to who will pay for a person’s injuries, it is usually the driver of the truck and the company that employed the driver. The shipper of the cargo, the manufacturer of the truck, and the manufacturer of the vehicle’s parts can also be held liable. Other persons that can be held liable is the company that leased the truck or the owner of the truck.
The best thing to do when involved in an accident with a tractor-trailer is to contact an attorney who is experienced in personal injury law involving large trucks.