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Who is liable for a commercial truck accident?

Accidents involving large commercial trucks are often more complicated than other kinds of car accidents, and one of the primary reasons is that a victim may have a number of distinct lawsuits to navigate. Depending on the nature of the relationship between the driver and the shipping company using the truck, a victim may file lawsuits against a number of different parties.

If, for instance, the driver of the truck is actually an employee of a shipping company, and definitely not an independent contractor, the victim may have grounds to bring an injury suit against the shipping company itself. In some cases, the driver or shipping company may claim that they have one type of relationship when they should legally have another. For instance, an employer may claim that a driver is an independent contractor because this designation relieves it of some duties to the driver and liability in accidents. However, if the shipping company controls too many aspects of the driver's job performance, the driver may qualify as an employee anyway.

If the driver is in fact an independent contractor, the lawsuit may end up in the driver's lap to resolve. Similarly, some accidents may occur because some component of the truck failed, which can lead to a lawsuit against the parts manufacturer.

Don't wait to get help seeking fair compensation after a commercial truck accident. These claims are regularly more complicated to pursue than standard auto accidents between two private drivers, and it is important to navigate them carefully. Professional legal guidance helps ensure that you do not miss benefits and protections you deserve as you pursue reasonable compensation after such an accident.

Source: Findlaw, "Truck Accident FAQ," accessed Nov. 03, 2017

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