After the devastation that comes with being involved in a major truck accident, many crash victims are left wondering who can be held liable for their injuries. It may be that the truck driver is solely to blame. However, often the answer is more complicated than that. There are many parties involved in getting a large truck out on the road. If any of these parties are negligent in their duties, they can cause or contribute to a crash.
If you have been hurt in a Gainesville truck accident, the trusted attorneys at Fine, Farkash & Parlapiano, P.A., are here to help. We can launch an immediate investigation into your crash to determine who is responsible for your injuries. Then our truck accident lawyers will aggressively pursue the full compensation you deserve. Contact our office today for a free consultation on your case.
Who May Be Responsible for a Truck Accident in Gainesville?
Commercial trucks are complex machines that require teams of people to operate safely and effectively. There are also lots of moving parts in a truck, and a mechanical failure at the wrong time can have catastrophic consequences. Here are some of the possible liable parties after a truck accident:
- The truck driver – In most truck accidents, the driver of the truck bears at least partial responsibility for what happened. The driver may have been distracted or fatigued, or the driver may have been engaging in aggressive driving behavior like speeding or making unsafe lane changes.
- The fleet carrier – Commercial trucking companies are required to hire and train qualified drivers, monitor their behavior, screen for drug and alcohol use, and generally make sure their employees are doing their jobs properly. They are also required to make sure their drivers are getting enough rest on the road. However, trucking companies may let some of these rules slide in the interest of getting the job done faster or making more money. This can lead to serious accidents.
- The cargo shipper and loader – A fully loaded tractor-trailer is a massive, unwieldy vehicle that can be hard to control. To ensure these vehicles can be handled safely, the cargo must be carefully placed and balanced within the trailer to minimize the risk of overturning and other hazards. If cargo shippers and loaders are not careful, they can leave a trailer with an unbalanced load. This can lead to a jackknife, rollover, or other type of truck accident.
- Truck manufacturers and parts makers – Sometimes accidents are caused by mechanical failures in a truck. Depending on the part in question, it could have been made by the truck manufacturer or an aftermarket parts dealer, either of which can be held liable for an accident if there was some sort of mechanical defect.
- Government agencies and contractors – In some cases, truck accidents are caused by roadway issues like soft shoulders, broken pavement, potholes, etc. If the government agency responsible for a stretch of road or highway did not take proper precautions to prevent an accident, it can be held liable for damages. Likewise, government maintenance contractors can be held liable if they did a shoddy job, and their negligence contributed to an accident.
- Other vendors – Large trucking companies may have outside vendors to handle things like administrative tasks, recruiting drivers, handling drug and alcohol screenings, and so on. If any of these vendors fail in their required duty (for example, if a drug and alcohol screening vendor allows a driver with a failed test to be hired), they can be held liable for damages in a truck accident.
Gathering Evidence to Determine Liability After a Truck Accident
You will need extensive evidence to support your claim for damages after a truck accident. Here are a few common pieces of evidence our firm uses in truck accident claims:
- The police report – After an accident, law enforcement officials will likely begin an investigation. They may end up citing one or more drivers for their role in causing the accident. This is a vital piece of evidence in most accident claims.
- Onboard GPS data – Many large trucks are equipped with onboard GPS systems that track their speed, route, and other driving data. This data can be used to help determine what the truck driver and the vehicle were doing in the moments leading up to an accident.
- Company records – Trucking companies keep extensive records of where their drivers stop for gas, the routes they take, when they take a rest break, and more. Employer records are an excellent source of information in accident cases.
- Photos from the scene and surveillance video – Photos of the scene and nearby surveillance videos can provide crucial context for the circumstances of an accident.
- Accident reconstruction specialists – Forensic experts can examine the scene of a crash and interpret what happened, shedding additional light on who may be at fault.
What If Multiple Parties Were Responsible for Your Gainesville Truck Accident?
Depending on how your accident occurred, there may be more than one party who is liable for your injuries. A truck accident lawyer from our firm can determine all the responsible parties and help you demand full compensation from them.
How Our Law Firm Can Help You
Never try to handle a truck accident injury claim on your own. Our respected legal team at Fine, Farkash & Parlapiano, P.A., has the experience and the resources to hold large trucking companies and others responsible for the harm they caused you. You can trust our skilled attorneys to:
- Gather and preserve all the necessary evidence
- Work with expert witnesses to build a strong claim
- Help you find the right doctors to treat your injuries
- Calculate the full extent of your damages, including future anticipated losses
- Handle all communication between you and the various parties involved in the accident
- Fight for the maximum compensation you need to recover
We understand the toll that truck accidents take on victims and their families. Our firm is here to help however we can. Contact us now to get started with a free initial consultation.