Who Do You Collect from or Sue if You Are Involved in a Truck Accident that Resulted in a Fatality?
Getting into a fatal truck accident can be devastating because trucks crashing into other vehicles are likely to leave passengers severely injured or even dead. Truck accidents always cause destruction because of how extensive and heavy-weight trucks are. The destruction can be especially concerning if the truck crashed into your smaller vehicle.
In such cases, people usually do not understand how to go about suing or collecting compensation after a truck accident, especially if the truck driver is working for a company. Not knowing who to sue or collect from is understandable because it can be a technical task.
What Causes a Truck Accident?
Suppose the truck driver is to blame for the accident. In that case, it is likely that he or she may have been distracted, tired, high or drunk, driving with an overloaded truck, going way over the speed limit, unqualified to drive the vehicle, or driving a truck that was not properly maintained or inspected.
Such causes are common in truck accidents, but they nonetheless lead to lawsuits or claims filed against the trucking company that hired the driver. Lawsuits and claims are only filed against a third party in cases where the truck driver was not at fault, for example, if there was a fault in the manufacturing of the truck or if the government did not properly construct the road.
Who to Sue or Collect From?
If the truck driver was responsible for the accident and he or she is working for an employer, then you must sue or collect from the company the driver is operating under instead of the driver. This is because the company is responsible for the truck driver’s actions while he or she is at work, so they must be held accountable.
On the other hand, if the accident was not the fault of the truck driver or his or her employer, you might have to file your claim against a third party’s insurance provider. In truck accidents, you can potentially sue four parties according to the situation:
- the truck driver (in the case of the truck being a privately owned vehicle)
- the trucking company (in the case of the truck driver being an employee at the company)
- the truck manufacturer (if the truck driver or company can prove that a manufacturing fault in the vehicle caused the accident)
- a government agency (in the case of road hazards being the cause of the accident)
If you were only injured as a result of the accident, you could file a personal injury claim or lawsuit as a way to get compensated for the accident. With such accidents, you can usually sue for severe injuries, non-economic damages (which cover the psychological stress and trauma you may have gone through as a result of the accident), damages to your vehicle, and in some cases, wrongful death of a passenger in your car who passed away as a result of the accident.
Claims for Wrongful Death
If the accident wrongfully killed your loved one, make a wrongful death claim. A wrongful death claim will allow the family of the deceased to obtain compensation for the death of their loved one. The trucking company will be the one responsible for providing compensation. However, if they do not offer compensation, it is up to the family of the deceased to file a lawsuit.
Before looking for compensation for a truck accident or suing a trucking company for an accident, understand how truck accident lawsuits and claims work. This knowledge will help clarify the situation for you, especially if you have lost a loved one in the accident.