Who to Sue in a Truck Accident

Being the victim of a truck accident can completely uproot your life. Trucks are enormous vehicles that can cause catastrophic damage due to their size and weight. Sometimes it can be hard to know who to sue in a truck accident. Many parties can be responsible for a truck, not just the truck driver. An experienced California truck accident lawyer can help you file your claim, determine who was at fault, and get you the compensation you deserve.

Can I Sue for a Truck Crash?

If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, you may be able to sue for damages. Though compensation cannot reverse your injuries, it can help you bear the financial burden of the accident. Hiring a California truck accident attorney can help you receive fair and just compensation for your injuries.

Before you sue, the first step is to file a claim with the responsible party’s insurance company. After reviewing the evidence for liability and damages, the insurance company will make a settlement offer. Know that this offer may be low. An insurance company’s goal is to resolve a claim as fast as possible for as low of a number as possible. Remember an insurance company is the adversarial party and they are not in the position to help an injured person. An insurance company wants to protect their assets. 

Speak with an attorney before you accept the settlement offer. The truck accident attorneys at The Beliz Law Firm will negotiate with the insurance companies and fight to get you a higher settlement. We will not let them threaten us or undervalue your claim. The truck accident attorneys at The Beliz Law Firm will stand by you from filing the claim stage to a potential lawsuit, and all the way until the final verdict.

Who Can I Sue for Being Hit by a Semi Truck?

There are many different parties you can file a claim against or sue if you suffered injury in a truck accident. To determine the appropriate party, you must determine who is at fault for the accident. The following are parties who are commonly responsible for a truck accident:

  • Truck driver,
  • Truck company,
  • Cargo loader,
  • Truck or part manufacturer,
  • Truck maintenance company, and
  • Government entity.

A truck accident lawyer can help identify the responsible party.

What Can I Sue For?

Truck accident claims are rooted in the doctrine of negligence. Negligence is the failure to act with care when there is a duty to do so. To succeed in a negligence claim, you must prove four elements:

  • Duty,
  • Breach of duty,
  • Causation, and
  • Damages.

You must prove that the responsible party had a duty to you and that they breached that duty through their actions or failure to act. Then you must show a direct causal connection between the breach of duty and your injury. Last, you must give proof of the damages. Damages can include financial, physical, mental, and emotional injuries from the accident. 

Different parties may owe different duties:

  • Truck driver. A truck driver’s duties are to drive safely and obey traffic laws. A truck driver must also comply with specific regulations pertaining to commercial trucks.
  • Trucking company. A trucking company’s duties depend on its relationship to the truck and driver. The truck company has a duty to comply with laws and regulations that apply to it. It also has a duty to take reasonable steps to ensure its vehicles operate safely. If the trucking company hires its truck drivers directly, it has a duty to ensure that the drivers are qualified and to provide them with appropriate training. A trucking company can also be liable for the negligence of the truck drivers if the truck drivers are employees.
  • Cargo loader. A cargo loader must ensure the cargo is loaded safely into the truck and tied down appropriately.
  • Truck manufacturer. A truck manufacturer must ensure the truck and truck parts are safe for their intended use.
  • Truck maintenance company. If a truck maintenance company performs repairs or maintenance on the truck, it must take reasonable steps to ensure the truck is in good working condition.
  • Government entity. A government entity must maintain the roads and ensure traffic lights function correctly.

For example, suppose a truck driver hit your car and they were driving while intoxicated. You may be able to sue the trucking company if it hired a truck driver with a history of DUIs and you can show the driver’s DUI caused your injuries from the accident. Or you might be able to sue a government entity for failing to maintain the roadways if a defect in the road caused your accident.

At The Beliz Law Firm, we work with expert witnesses who can help recreate the accident scene to prove negligence.

How Long Do I Have to Sue for a Truck Accident?

All claims have a statute of limitations. Truck accidents are personal injury claims. In California, you have two years from the accident date to bring a personal injury lawsuit. Failure to file a lawsuit by the deadline generally bars you from recovering compensation. It’s important to contact a truck accident lawyer as soon as possible, so you do not miss your opportunity to sue the party responsible for the accident.

Contact The Beliz Law Firm

Moving forward with a truck accident case can be complex. At The Beliz Law Firm, our experienced truck accident legal team will prepare your case from start to finish. They will:

  • Collect evidence,
  • Interview accident witnesses,
  • Negotiate with insurance companies,
  • Gather expert witnesses for both liability and damages,
  • Prepare you for trial, and
  • Represent you in court.

Our team is fully committed to helping you through this difficult time. We always treat our clients respectfully, and we are committed to helping you achieve the best possible outcome. Contact The Beliz Law Firm to schedule a free consultation with us.

Author Photo

Michael Beliz

Michael A. Beliz, Esq., established The Beliz Law Firm in the spring of 2011.  Michael has been a practicing attorney since 2006 and worked for two of the most prominent plaintiff’s personal injury law firms in Southern California.  He has worked on and handled hundreds of cases as an attorney in all types of personal injury cases, including vehicle accidents, pedestrian accidents and dog bites, and successfully recovered millions of dollars for his clients.

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