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Semi-Truck Accidents and Liability Issues

Recent studies have shown that the number of people who have suffered serious injuries caused by semi-truck accidents has drastically increased. This includes both drivers and passengers. It is important for a person who has been involved in a trucking accident to contact an attorney who is well experienced with this type of cases.

Such lawyers are very helpful in many ways. In the first place, determining the person to bring the claim against can be a complicated issue since liability in such accidents can be quite complex. This is where these attorneys come into play. They help complainants during the entire lawsuit process ensuring an individual completely recovers from his injuries and receives the best possible settlement.

Who are the liable parties in the accident?

Several companies or people can be held liable when a trucking accident occurs. The question "which person should be sued?" entirely depends on the circumstances. Was the driver of the tractor trailer an independent contractor or an employee? Did a company or the driver own the vehicle? Was the motor properly maintained (in good condition)? Was the cargo properly loaded? Was the accident caused by the driver's recklessness or negligence?

All these questions including many more that have not been listed come up since such accidents are caused by several causes. The most common ones are:

  1. Driver errors such as following other vehicles too closely, ignorance to traffic signs, dangerous lane changes. Distracted driving, fatigued driving, and drunk diving
  2. Improper cargo loading: a shift in the position of the cargo can cause a driver to lose control or the vehicle to roll over. This shift in cargo is usually caused by lack of properly securing the cargo.
  3. Improper maintenance or inspection: All cargo-carrying motors should be regularly inspected and maintained. Lack of proper maintenance may lead to brake failure and tire blowouts among other problems which may result in fatal accidents.

After a lawyer has determined the cause of the accident, he can now help in deciding which party should be held accountable. The liable parties may include: the driver, commercial truck manufacturer or owner, manufacturer of specific parts, the cargo owner or loader, 3rd party companies that run maintenance and inspection, or the company that employs the driver.

Extensive investigation is therefore necessary before bringing a claim against another party. Lawyers that are experienced in this field are the best to consult. Remember, this should be done as soon as possible for preservation of the evidence.