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Who Is Held Liable in a Commercial Truck Accident?

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Posted By Legal Team | April 19 2023 | Truck Accidents

In typical car accidents, determining liability with an Atlanta car accident attorney is a relatively simple matter. For instance, if a car runs a red light and collides with another car in the intersection, the driver who ran the red light is at fault and must pay damages through their insurance carrier. An accident involving a commercial truck is rarely that simple. Not only do fully loaded commercial trucks cause catastrophic damage in an accident with a smaller, lighter vehicle, but the truck driver may not be the party liable for the damages, even if their truck was the vehicle that caused the accident to occur. Often, it takes a truck accident attorney with experience in the specialized field of commercial truck accident claims to investigate the details of the accident in order to determine the liable party and then use evidence-backed data to clearly prove their liability.

Why Is a Truck Driver Not Always the Liable Party Even if the Truck Was the Cause of the Accident?

In some circumstances, a truck driver may be personally liable for paying damages in an accident caused by their negligence or recklessness behind the wheel. But in some accidents, the driver isn’t the liable party because they aren’t a personal contractor working for a trucking company but a direct employee. Often it’s the truck company itself that’s liable for an accident caused by one of its employees. In some cases, other parties may be liable, including:

  • The truck manufacturer
  • A freight loading company
  • A truck maintenance service
  • A third-party driver
  • A truck parts manufacturer

One of the functions of a good truck accident attorney is to investigate the circumstances of the accident, the driver’s employee or contractor’s status, and the history of the truck’s loading and maintenance services. Once the investigation reveals the party at fault in the accident, an Atlanta truck accident lawyer will find the necessary evidence to prove that the case meets the following standard of legal liability:

  • That the at-fault party owed a duty of care to others on the road to take reasonable measures to keep others safe, such as following traffic laws, avoiding driver fatigue, and ensuring well-built, well-maintained trucks are on the road
  • That the party at fault breached that duty of care in an act of negligence, recklessness, or wrongdoing
  • That the breach directly caused the truck accident
  • That the accident caused the injury
  • That the injured victim suffered significant economic and non-economic damages as a result of the injury

What Damages Can I Recover From a Truck Accident Claim?

Due to the size and weight difference between commercial trucks and private vehicles, the injuries to the driver and passengers in the smaller vehicle may be grave or catastrophic, with life-altering consequences. If you’ve had an accident with a commercial truck through no fault of your own you could claim compensation for the following damages:

  • Medical expenses and any future medical expenses if you need further treatment
  • Lost income and future lost wages
  • Diminished earning capacity if you’ve been disabled due to the accident
  • Pain and suffering
  • Other non-economic damages like disfigurement, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of consortium

A skilled Atlanta personal injury lawyer can help you to maximize the amount of compensation your recover from damages after a catastrophic injury. Sadly, financial compensation can’t erase the accident that caused the injuries, but it can help you to have access to the best medical care while relieving the burden on your finances.

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