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Truck Accidents

Who is at Fault in a Truck Accident?

May 29, 2020

In a car accident involving two passenger vehicles, one of the other drivers is typically at fault. As a result, any claim that you may have is brought against the other driver and their insurance company. This simplifies the process considerably when compared to a truck accident, where the question of who should be held liable can be much more complicated. 

If you have been injured in a truck accident, we encourage you to contact a knowledgeable Billings truck accident attorney to ensure that you get full value for your claim. 

Layers of Possible Liability

Truck accidents can be complicated because they typically involve corporate entities. The driver may be an employee of the trucking company or an independent contractor. The trucking company itself may be a conglomerate of various shell corporations in order to deflect potential claims. It can be extraordinarily difficult to determine who the trucking company is and where they are located. 

Identifying the Cause of the Accident

Identifying the cause of the accident may also determine who you pursue. Truck accidents are often the result of the following common causes:

  • Driver error
  • Failure to maintain or repair the truck
  • Improper loading
  • Failure to properly train drivers or ensure they have adequate experience
  • Failure to adequately supervise drivers to ensure that they are driving safely
  • Encouraging drivers to drive unsafely, e.g. requiring them to drive long hours with inadequate rest

For example, if the accident was due to driver error, you may have to pursue the driver if they are an independent contractor of the trucking company. On the other hand, you may have to pursue a different company if the accident was caused when another company failed to load the truck properly. 

Ultimately, you may have to sue all of the parties involved and let them explain why they shouldn’t be held liable. An experienced Billings truck accident attorney can review the facts of your case, identify the parties involved, and help you shape your legal strategy. 

Navigating the Insurance Claim Process

The insurance claim process may also be more complicated when it comes to truck accidents. While your own insurance company will likely pursue a claim against them, it’s important to keep in mind that they are looking to limit their own exposure. As a result, they won’t be very aggressive in pursuing the full value of your claim in the event that they have to pay some portion. In addition, they may be unwilling to litigate the matter if the trucking company’s insurance carrier refuses to pay a fair settlement. Meanwhile, the trucking company’s insurance carrier is inclined to limit their own liability, and may not be willing to accept the fact that they are responsible for your claim. Ultimately, hiring a Billings truck accident attorney is likely the best way to ensure you receive the compensation you are entitled to instead of a low-ball settlement offer. 

Contact Billings Truck Accident Attorney Jim Ragain Today

If you’ve been injured in a truck accident, you need someone on your side. Don’t let the trucking company’s negligence leave you with long-term injuries and bills you can’t pay. Billings truck accident attorney Jim Ragain has decades of experience and knows how to hold trucking companies accountable. Call us at 406-651-8888 or visit us online to schedule a free consultation about how we can help you get the compensation you deserve.