What if Multiple Parties Are at Fault in a Truck Accident?
Truck accidents can be devastating and painful due to the sheer size and weight of the vehicles involved. However, the severity of these accidents is not the only complicating factor. If you are filing a truck accident lawsuit or insurance claim, you may struggle with naming at-fault parties in your claim. Many parties may be liable for your injuries. To receive your compensation, your Seattle personal injury attorney can help you determine who is at fault.
Who Can Be Liable for a Truck Accident?
Depending on the circumstances of your accident, multiple parties may be responsible. You will need to contact a Seattle truck accident attorney to discuss the facts of your case and launch an investigation into your accident. Your attorney may uncover information that will allow you to hold the following parties liable in your case.
- You can hold the truck driver liable for your accident in your claim. Often, the truck driver’s negligent actions led to your accident. Examples of negligence may include driving while distracted, falsifying driving logs, failing to follow traffic laws and signage, or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Often, truck drivers are not the owners of the vehicle involved in your accident. You may hold the owner of the truck liable in your claim if an issue with the vehicle led to your accident. Examples of negligence on the part of the owner may include failure to properly maintain and regularly inspect the vehicle.
- Sometimes, the driver involved in your case is an employee of a commercial trucking business. These companies hire employees or independent drivers to operate their freights. You can hold these companies responsible if one of their drivers causes your accident. You can prove liability if the company failed to adequately train its employees or vet their independent contractors.
- Under federal law, truck owners and truck drivers must have regular inspections and maintenance for their vehicles. If the certified truck inspectors fail to notify or detect potential safety issues, the truck can malfunction and cause an accident. You can hold a certified truck inspector liable if he or she failed to perform certain tests or alert owners and drivers to a vehicle defect.
Potential Issues With Multiple At-Fault Parties
The more parties involved in your case, the more issues may arise when you are attempting to collect a settlement through a personal injury lawsuit. Lawsuits with multiple responsible parties can become quite complicated when determining liability. The court will require proof that each party owed you a duty of care, breached that duty, committed actions that caused your injuries, and that you suffered damages because of your injuries. Undergoing this process for one party is time-consuming enough – with multiple parties, you can lengthen your settlement time.
In many cases, the at-fault party settles the case out of court. When you engage with multiple at-fault parties, you will have to reach a settlement agreement with all of them. These negotiations can be very difficult and you may have to go to court with one or more of the at-fault parties. You could settle with one party out of court and take the remaining parties to trial, or reach a consensus with the parties at the negotiation table.
Truck accident cases, especially with multiple parties involved, can be difficult to litigate – but it is not impossible. With the right truck accident attorney on your side, you can navigate the negotiation process and receive proper representation in the courtroom. If you have been in an accident with multiple potential defendants, you need to hire an experienced Seattle truck accident attorney. Contact an attorney today one to begin the claims process.