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How do you know who is liable after a truck accident?

Truck accidents are extremely dangerous, especially when a collision involves a commercial truck and smaller consumer vehicles. Even a sturdy pickup or SUV may suffer catastrophic damage in a truck accident, and the victims may have serious, life-threatening injuries.

To make matters more difficult, truck accidents often create complicated legal situations. In most accidents that involve consumer vehicles, the greatest difficulty is identifying which driver has all or most of the liability. Identifying the liable party in a truck accident is not always so simple.

If you experience a truck accident, there are several steps it is wise to take immediately, to protect yourself and your legal rights. With a strong legal strategy and sufficient evidence from the scene of the accident, you can keep your rights secure while you recover.

Liable parties

Truck accidents are different from consumer accidents because they often involve more parties than the drivers and victims. If a driver was acting as an employee when the accident occurred, then the driver's employer may have liability. However, a driver's employment status is not always easy to identify. Some employers misclassify employees as contractors to avoid liability, so understanding this may require some research.

If an accident occurs because a part within a truck fails, the party who manufactured that part may have liability. The electronic control module within the truck stores data about faulty components, so it is always useful to request this data from the owner of the truck (who may or may not be the driver) immediately. If you wait to request this data, the owner may delete it.

It is also possible that poorly packing and securing cargo may cause an accident, if the cargo shifts while the truck is moving. In these cases, the company that loaded the cargo and secured it may have liability for the accident. Likewise, if an accident occurs because of bad maintenance or repairs, the party responsible for the repairs may hold liability.

Protect yourself now

Protecting yourself after a truck accident should be your top priority. Once you receive any necessary medical care, it is wise to begin building your legal strategy as soon as possible. By gathering as much evidence from the scene as you can and using strong legal resources, you can build a strong claim and keep your rights protected throughout your recovery.

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