When most Montana residents get hurt by a negligent or unlawful truck driver, they focus on the truck driver to hold him or her accountable. However, the truck driver who caused your car accident and injuries may not be the only one who's liable. The employer of the truck driver could also be liable for financial damages resulting from your auto accident.
Whenever a potential personal injury plaintiff gets hurt in an accident, it's important to determine all of the liable defendants. This will help ensure that the injured plaintiff has the highest chance of success in his or her efforts to recoup financial damages. After all, a truck driver may not have very much in the way of personal assets to cover the costs associated with the injured person's medical care. The employer, on the other hand, will probably be carrying liability insurance that is sufficient to pay out a large personal injury settlement or award.
However, not all truckers work for a transportation company. Some truckers are independent contractors, and this can create challenges in terms of holding a transportation company liable. In these cases, the primary issue involves the level of supervision that the transportation company had over its contractor.
In some situations, the shipper or manufacturer of the goods being carried by the trucker will also be liable. For example, maybe the truck was carrying flammable goods that exploded during the crash and resulted in worsened injuries. If the manufacturer or shipper failed to take proper precautions to prevent injuries in the event of a crash, they could be liable.
Were you or a family member injured in a big rig accident? You may want to learn about your legal rights and options to pursue financial restitution in court.
Source: FindLaw, "Truck accidents overview," accessed Dec. 01, 2017