Yes—both the trucker and trucking company he works for may be responsible for the crash. Don’t let their insurance company representative shrug his shoulders and tell you, “Accidents happen. We couldn’t prevent it.”
Second, truckers have a legal responsibility to inspect the truck to be sure it’s safe to operate, and the trucking company has an obligation to fix any defects. Truckers are required to inspect their brakes to be sure they are in working order before their trip and at the end of the day. Truckers must note broken safety equipment—like brakes—on a written report.
Broken safety equipment must be fixed before a semi can be driven. The trucking company must certify the repairs are done on the written report. The next trucker to drive the truck must sign the report to confirm the repairs were done.
Here, the trucker may not have properly inspected the truck or the trucking company may have chosen not to do the repairs, or did them improperly. This could mean one or both of them are legally responsible for your injuries. Unfortunately, due to the way trucking companies structure themselves and sometimes outsource repairs, figuring out who's really at fault here can be a real struggle.
At Holland & Usry, we know an 18-wheeler accident is not your typical car accident. Because the trucking industry is highly regulated to protect the safety of innocent motorists like you, your lawyer needs a firm grasp of all the safety rules involved in your case and how to take advantage of them to help you. Handling a trucking accident case requires extensive knowledge of those safety regulations to help prove how violations caused your injury and increase your ability to obtain full compensation, potentially including punitive damages.
Truckers and trucking companies are also required to maintain a wealth of information that can help your case…if you have an experienced lawyer who knows how to get those records and use them. Truck crash injuries are often far more severe than those from other traffic accidents, so it may require examining thousands of pages of medical records and familiarity with complex medical terms and procedures to develop a convincing case about the extent of your injuries.
If you or someone you love has been hurt or worse in an 18-wheeler crash in