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Elefterakis, Elefterakis & Panek

Determining liability after a truck accident

Commercial truck accidents are some of the most traumatic, frightening experiences a motorist can experience on the road. As such, truck accidents often result in catastrophic damage and injuries, and complex legal claims. Commercial truck accidents include several additional layers of complexity that may make it exceptionally challenging for victims to resolve their claims fairly on their own.

After any collision, it is always important to undergo a thorough medical examination to make sure that you identify all injuries before they cause lasting harm. Once you receive proper care or a clean bill of health, it is important to build a strong legal strategy to make sure that you can protect your rights.

Multiple parties often hold liability

Part of what makes a commercial truck accident so complicated to resolve is that it may involve several defendants, in addition to the big rig driver. It is important to determine the employment status of the driver. Depending on whether or not the driver acted as an independent contractor or as an employee may greatly affect the nature of your claim.

If the driver is an independent contractor, he or she may bear the liability for the accident with their personal driver's coverage. If, however, the driver is an employee of a trucking company,the company's insurer may also be liable for your injuries and damages.

To further complicate the matter, many companies misclassify their employees as independent contractors to avoid this type of liability. Thus, you may need to do your own research into the nature of this relationship and potentially challenge it in court.

Third-party causes

It is also possible that neither driver was at fault. The party who loaded the cargo may not have properly secured the load to the trailer, causing it to shift during transit. This can easily cause the problems that resulted in the collision.

Likewise, the party responsible for maintenance or repairs to the truck may bear liability if there were problems. In similar ways, the manufacturer of a faulty part may be liable if the part's failure caused the accident.

The sooner you begin building a strong claim, the more opportunities you have to seek full and fair compensation for your losses while keeping your own priorities and rights secure.

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