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Who to Sue in a Trucking Accident Claim

There is no commercial truck out on the highways that is solely owned, maintained, and controlled by one individual person. So in the event of a trucking accident, you may suddenly be faced with the realization that you might have multiple parties to sue for compensation. The question then becomes not if you should sue, but who you should sue.

If the truck driver was an independent contractor, they will not have a parent company over them that can be held accountable for the crash. In such a situation, you would have to sue the trucker individually, as you would a motorist in most car accident cases. However, reviewing their contract could reveal that the company that actually owns the truck and leases it to them has some say in their schedule, how often the truck is maintained, and some say in their actions. If that is the case, you might be able to sue that contracting company.

In many trucking accident situations, though, it can be found that a federal trucking regulation was violated and that this led to the crash. For example, a trucker’s schedule may have been set to include too many hours, causing them to grow fatigued behind the wheel. Who is to blame when exhaustion causes a collision? It would not just be the trucker but also the parent company that made the schedule, who could then be found to be vicariously negligent and therefore vicariously liable.

Why Would You Not Sue the Truck Driver?

In a situation where you have the option of suing the trucker or suing the truck driver’s parent company, you should always err on the side of caution and bring the case against the company. If you try to sue the trucker, you might collect an amount limited by their own insurance and, if the matter goes to court, the jury could feel sympathy for the trucker, reducing your claim’s strength. If you are suing an entire corporation, you will have access to greater compensation amounts upon victory and you do not have to worry about jury sympathy; who has ever felt sorry for a company that did wrong?

When you do bring a lawsuit against a trucking company, be forewarned, though. Large corporations often have teams of defense attorneys on staff, ready and willing to shut down your claim, no matter how valid it may be. Even the scale with the help of a Midland trucking accident attorney from Dean Law Firm. Contact us today to get a FREE consultation from a team with more than 20 years of legal and trial experience!