Truck Accidents vs. Car Accidents: How Is Liability Determined?

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A Guide to Liability Determinations in Truck Accidents vs. Car Accidents

Liability in truck accident and car accident cases is often tricky.

When various parties come into play and the inevitable finger-pointing starts, the victims often suffer the consequences of the complex scenario.

Without a definite liable party, a case usually takes an extended time to resolve, and hope for maximum compensation slowly diminishes.

Because of this potential hurdle, determining proper liability is essential in every truck accident case and other personal injury cases.

The rule of liability in truck accidents differs slightly from car accidents.

Truck Accidents vs. Car Accidents How Is Liability Determined; How Liability is Determined in Truck Accidents vs Car Accidents; Truck Accident Lawsuit; Truck Accident Lawyers; Truck Accident Liability; Liable Parties in Truck Accident Case

If you’ve been injured in a truck accident at no fault of your own, you may be eligible to file a truck accident lawsuit and seek financial compensation you deserve.

Contact TorHoerman Law for a free consultation.

You can also use the chatbot on this page to find out if you qualify for a truck accident lawsuit instantly.

Our truck accident lawyers have decades of experience fighting for people who’ve been injured at no fault of their own.

We’ve secured significant compensation for victims and we are here to help you through this difficult time.

Reach out to an experienced attorney at TorHoerman Law and find out how we can help you seek the compensation you deserve.

Frequently Asked Questions

In truck accident cases, trucking companies and cargo loaders may be held liable if it’s proven their negligence contributed to the accident in some way.

Every truck accident case is different and an experienced truck accident lawyer can help you understand the potential liable parties in your case.

Other parties that may be held liable in a truck accident lawsuit include parts manufacturers, independent contractors, and truck drivers themselves.

An experienced truck accident lawyer will work closely with you to gather evidence, assess damages, and file a claim for compensation that covers the extent of how the accident impacted your life.

Your truck accident attorney should be able to effectively guide you through the legal process and ensure you are fully compensated while you focus on what’s most important – your physical and mental recovery.

Truck accident victims may be able to seek compensation for a number of monetary and non-monetary costs associated with the truck accident.

Truck accident lawsuit damages may include, but are not limited to: 

  • Medical bills and future medical expenses
  • Therapy costs
  • Lost wages and earning ability
  • Emotional damages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Permanent disability
  • Lost quality of life
  • Wrongful death
  • Other compensatory and punitive damages

Our truck accident lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, which means that we DO NOT charge for legal representation unless your case ends successfully.

If you are not compensated, you do not pay a cent in legal fees.

In a contingency fee agreement, legal fees would be deducted from the compensation received in a successful truck accident lawsuit.

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Determining Liability in Truck Accident Claims vs. Car Accident Cases

How Liability is Determined in Truck Accidents vs Car Accidents

In personal injury law, liability and negligence are closely related concepts.

By definition, liability refers to a person or a party’s responsibility for an injury or harm.

Negligence, on the other hand, points to the failure to exercise reasonable care that results in another person’s injury.

We’ll discuss these terms separately, but we’ll focus more on liability in a trucking accident in this section.

Liability in truck accidents, particularly in commercial semi-truck accident cases, is complicated because of multiple involved parties: trucking companies, parts manufacturers, individual truck drivers, and others may be held liable.

On the other hand, car accidents often only involve the driver and the other driver.

Who Are the Liable Parties in a Truck Accident?

Accidents involving commercial trucks are often complicated because the liability is not only limited to the driver and the other party.

Liable Parties in Truck Accident Case

The different parties that could be held liable in truck accident lawsuits include:

  • The truck driver: Truck drivers are often the first person held liable in a truck accident because of the notion that they’re the ones directly operating and controlling the vehicle.
  • The trucking company: Another common liable party is trucking companies. They’re responsible for ensuring their drivers are adequately trained and have valid licenses before driving a truck.
  • The truck manufacturer: The manufacturer of the truck can be held liable for defective parts that cause an accident. Common cases involving negligent truck manufacturers are faulty brakes, tire blowouts, and malfunctioning safety locks.
  • The freight company: Freight companies are responsible for ensuring that their trucks are properly loaded. If they fail to do so, then they might be held accountable for any resulting accidents.

Your truck accident lawyer can also help to identify other potentially liable parties, such as an independent contractor, government agencies, or other vehicles involved in the truck crash.

Who Are the Liable Parties in a Car Accident?

Determining liability in car accidents is relatively more straightforward than in truck accidents.

Liability will often fall on the car drivers themselves rather than other parties.

Determining Liability in Truck Accident Claims vs. Car Accident Cases

In the list below, we’ve outlined the parties that could be held liable in a car accident:

  • The car driver: Similar to truck accidents, the car driver is usually the primary liable party in a car accident. Negligent driving or lack of training are common reasons car drivers cause road accidents.
  • The car owner: In some cases, the car owner could be held liable if they loan their car to a visibly intoxicated driver. They can also be held responsible if they allow an unlicensed driver to operate their vehicle.

These two parties are typically held liable in car accident cases, but every case is different and other liable parties could be identified by your legal team.

What Are the Different Types of Liability in Truck Accident Cases?

Liability differs depending on state regulations and the nature of the truck accident.

In some cases, the defendant will bear the entire responsibility for the injury or harm, while in others, both parties share the responsibility.

Truck Accident Lawsuit

Listed below are some of the common types of liability in a truck accident case.

General Negligence

In general negligence, the liable party is the one who exercised negligent driving or manufacturing practices.

This is the most basic concept which most states follow.

In personal injury cases, the victim or plaintiff bears the responsibility to prove the negligence of the other party, which can be proven with the elements of negligence.

The four elements of negligence: duty, breach, cause, and damage, are always present in most types of liability.

In general negligence claims, the party that meets all or most of the elements is the liable party.

Comparative Negligence

The defendant may retaliate against these claims and state that the plaintiff is also at fault for the incident.

This results in comparative negligence, where both parties are judged to have some degree of responsibility for the accident.

Financial compensation will be adjusted accordingly depending on the negligence percentage and state regulation.

  • Pure comparative negligence: In this type, the victim can claim compensation even if they share 99% of the fault for the accident. In this case, they can recover at least 1% of the total damages.
  • Modified comparative negligence: Some states don’t allow victims to recover damages if they’re more than 50% at fault for the accident. Any percentage lower than the threshold will be adjusted accordingly.
  • Slight or gross negligence: Depending on the situation, a party could be charged with either slight or gross negligence. Slight negligence is when the defendant is only slightly responsible for the accident due to their carelessness, whereas gross negligence holds them more accountable due to recklessness or intentional misconduct.

Strict Liability

With strict liability, the victim doesn’t need to prove negligence or malicious intent to receive compensation.

All they need to do is establish that they sustained an injury because of the other party’s action.

Whether the action was intentional or not won’t matter in this type of liability.

In this context, the driver or the victim can file a claim against the truck company if their accident is caused by a defective truck or truck part’s manufacturing or design.

Vicarious Liability

Vicarious liability applies to employers or other supervisory roles, holding them equally accountable for any injury or harm caused by their employees while on duty.

In the context of truck accidents, the truck driver’s employer could be held liable for any incident their employee causes while driving.

Negligence Per Se

As mentioned earlier, the general negligence claim is the most common liability in personal injury cases.

The general negligence claim places the burden of proof on the victim.

In negligence per se, the burden of proof shifts to the defendants.

In this legal theory, there is a presumption that the defendant is liable for the injury if they violated an established state/federal regulations or state/federal law.

For example, negligence per se applies if the truck driver violated the speed limit or traffic laws, resulting in an accident.

What Are the Elements of Negligence?

As established earlier, negligence and liability are closely connected in truck accident law.

To prove that the defendant is responsible for the accident, the victim must show proof that all of the elements of negligence were present.

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Listed below are the different elements of negligence:

  • Duty: The defendant has a duty of care towards the victim. This means they should act like other reasonable people would under the same circumstances. A victim can prove this by citing a professional relationship, such as a truck driver and employer.
  • Breach: The defendant breaches their duty of care by failing to act according to the standard of reasonable behavior. This can be done intentionally or unintentionally but must be proven for liability to exist.
  • Cause: It must be proven that the defendant’s breach of duty caused the victim harm or injury. This can be done with evidence such as medical reports, photos, and videos of the accident scene, eyewitness testimonies, etc.
  • Damage: The victim must show that they sustained damages or injuries due to the defendant’s breach of duty. These can be physical, emotional, and psychological damages and financial losses.

How Do You Prove Liability in Truck Accident Cases?

Proving a party’s liability means manifesting tangible and irrefutable evidence which affirms the existence of the elements of negligence.

Experienced truck accident attorneys can help victims build a strong claim and prove the truck driver or other parties’ negligence.

Truck Accident Liability

To obtain this proof, attorneys can review police reports, medical records, photographs of the accident scene, witness testimonies, and other evidence that could be used to prove liability in court.

Moreover, they can file a lawsuit against the negligent party and negotiate with insurance companies to ensure the victim receives compensation for their damages.

How Can a Lawyer Help You Determine Liability in a Truck Accident Case?

The truck accident lawyers at TorHoerman Law have years of experience helping truck accident victims receive the justice and compensation they deserve.

We can help thoroughly investigate your case to determine liability and build a strong truck accident claim.

Having an experienced truck accident attorney can help you recover essential evidence confirming liability, such as videos of the accident scene and witness testimonies.

How Liability is Determined in Truck Accidents vs Car Accidents

As established, having irrefutable evidence is critical to proving liability in most truck accident cases.

Our dedicated truck accident legal team is here to answer all your questions regarding truck accidents and potential liability.

We’ll guide you through the legal process and ensure that your rights and best interests are protected.

TorHoerman Law: Your Truck Accident Lawyers

Liability in truck accident lawsuits can be complicated.

To ensure you’re placing the responsibility for your injuries on the right party and all bases are covered, you need the help of the best truck accident attorneys.

With our legal expertise and compelling negotiation skills, you can rest assured of knowing your case is in the hands of experienced and capable truck accident lawyers.

At TorHoerman Law, we have a team of experienced truck accident attorneys dedicated to fighting for our client’s rights and obtaining justice and the best possible results.

If you’ve been injured in a truck accident at no fault of your own, you may be eligible to file a truck accident lawsuit and seek financial compensation you deserve.

Contact us today for a free consultation.

You can also use the chatbot on this page to find out if you qualify for a truck accident lawsuit instantly.

Tor Hoerman

Tor Hoerman

Owner & Attorney - TorHoerman Law


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