Drivers get into auto accidents with commercial vehicles every day in Texas. Dump trucks, equipment haulers, oil tankers – you name it – whenever large 18-wheelers collide with passenger vehicles on the roadway, bad things happen.
The weight of commercial trucks are simply no match for a tiny four-person passenger car. Drivers and individuals inside such small cars are more likely to suffer from catastrophic injury, or death, more so than the driver of the semi-truck.
But, when it comes to seeking compensation for your injuries involving an at-fault commercial truck driver, things can get complicated. Why? Multiple parties could be at-fault.
Let’s say the truck driver was found to be driving under the influence of alcohol at the time of the crash and thus at-fault for the accident.
However, after further investigation, the trucking company who hired the driver was aware of the past issues with this driver’s drinking while driving and a prior criminal record that included DUI convictions. But, because of the labor shortage with drivers, they simply turned a blind eye and continued to allow the driver to operate the rig.
In this case, both the driver and trucking company could be liable for your injuries, allowing you to seek possible damages from both parties.
Another situation may involve malfunctioning truck equipment.
Let’s say the driver of the semi-truck was driving too fast and collided with your car. But your injuries were not entirely due to the actual truck collision, but from flying debris that smashed through your windshield from the backend of the truck.
After further investigation, it’s revealed that there was a part on the back of the hauler that was defective and the reason why the debris failed to remain secure.
This type of situation could open the door to what’s known as product liability. If a manufacturer of a consumer product– whether it’s a rig component, a household appliance, or lawnmower – places its product on the market, and that product is defective and causes harm, the manufacturer could be responsible for any injuries associated with the defect.
In this instance, you could have a claim against the at-fault driver and against the manufacturer of the faulty part.
When car accidents involve 18-wheeler vehicles, a whole can of worms often opens up. It’s not just driver against driver – other parties could be at fault for the accident.
If you are involved in any type of car accident with a semi-truck, hiring a legal advocate is advised. An attorney can thoroughly investigate your claim, determine all possible at-fault parties, and the amount of compensation you may be entitled to.