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Being involved in an accident can be overwhelming and the legal questions that follow can be complex. For instance, determining who can be held legally liable in any accident can be difficult and this is no different in trucking accidents. In fact, it may be even more difficult to find out who can be held liable in a trucking accident. Some trucks are privately owned and some are company-owned trucks. Facts like this can make a big difference in determining who can and should be held liable for paying out in the event of a trucking accident. Here, we’ll take a look at who you may be able to bring a claim against following a trucking accident and how to effectively pursue your claim for the best possible outcome.

If I were in an accident with a privately owned truck that was hauling for a company, could I bring a claim against him? 

If you have been injured in an accident involving a semi-truck, tractor-trailer, or another type of commercial truck, it can be difficult to know who to bring your personal injury claim against. Who you make your claim against can be held responsible for properly compensating you for the harm you suffered in the accident, so it is important to bring your claim against the right party or parties.

In accident cases involving commercial trucks, an injury victim may be able to file against a number of individuals and entities. For instance, a claim may be brought against:

  • The truck driver
  • The employer of the truck driver
  •  The owner of the truck
  • The owner of the truck cargo
  • The loader of the truck cargo
  • The truck maintenance company

In commercial truck accident cases where the truck driver is driving for a company that owns the truck, then you can sue the employer under the legal theory referred to as “respondeat superior” which is Latin for “let the master answer.” This legal theory allows a person who suffers harm caused by an employee to hold the employer responsible if the employee was working at the time of the accident. Trucking companies will often try to wriggle out of being held liable by asserting that the driver was not an employee, but an independent contractor, or that the driver was not working at the time the accident occurred.

Sometimes, a commercial truck driver owns their own truck and operates as an independent contractor. In these cases, it is not likely that you are going to be able to bring a claim against the trucking company or the company for whom the driver is hauling cargo. However, it may still be possible to bring claims against other parties other than the driver themselves. If the accident was caused even in part, by the owner of the cargo in the truck or the party responsible for loading the truck, then they may be held liable as well. If there were other unsafe conditions on the roadway caused by someone other than the truck driver, you may be able to pursue a claim against them as well.

North Dakota Personal Injury Attorneys

Following an accident, the clock is ticking on bringing claims against the right people in order to be properly compensated for your accident-related losses. At Pringle & Herigstad, we are here to pursue every avenue of recovery on your behalf to help ensure you are fully and fairly compensated. Contact us today.