In an ordinary car accident, figuring out who is to blame is usually relatively simple: the at-fault driver is held liable for a victim's injuries. When it comes to personal injury cases involving truck accidents, however, determining who is liable for a victim's injuries can be one of the most difficult--but most important--aspects of the case.
Potential Responsible Parties in a Truck Accident Case
A personal injury case stemming from a truck accident is far more complicated than a case involving ordinary passenger vehicles. This is due, in part, to the fact that multiple parties can be held liable for a person's injuries.
The Truck Driver
One of the most common--and most obvious--defendants in a truck accident case is the truck driver. There are a variety of actions that can render a truck driver liable for a person's injuries. Common examples include:
- Operating the truck while under the influence of drugs or alcohol;
- Distracted driving;
- Failing to follow state or federal trucking regulations, such as failing to properly maintain the truck or driving too long without stopping to rest; and
- Towing a larger load than the truck is allowed to haul.
The Truck Company
In personal injury cases involving truck accidents, a trucking company can be deemed liable for a victim's injuries. Under the legal theory of "vicarious liability," an employer can be held liable for injuries caused by employees while on the job. This means that trucking companies can be deemed responsible for an accident victim's injuries if the trucking company employed the truck driver who caused the injury.
The Truck Owner
In some cases, a truck company does not actually own the trucks, but rather lease the trucks or hire independent contractors who own the trucks. In this case, if the truck is involved in an accident and someone is injured by the accident, the truck owner can be held responsible for the person's injuries.
Sometimes, truck accidents occur at no fault of the driver, but rather because of a defect in a component of the truck itself. For example, a defective tire could lead to a blowout on the highway, or a failure in the truck's brake system could lead to a driver losing control of the truck and crashing into another person. In these cases, the manufacturer of the truck components or parts can be held liable for a truck accident victim's injuries.
Suffering Injuries After a Truck Accident? We're Here to Help
If you were the victim of a truck accident in Rhode Island, talking to a seasoned personal injury attorney who has experience in handling truck accident cases is one of the best steps that you can take to protect your legal rights. At Inman & Tourgee, our truck accident attorneys are dedicated to using their experience to provide the legal representation our clients need to obtain the compensation they deserve. To discuss your truck accident with a member of our legal team, fill out an online contact form or call (401) 823-9200 today.