What Is Third-Party Liability in Truck Accidents?September 11, 2023
The trucking company is the most common example of third-party liability in truck accidents. An employer is responsible for the actions of its employees that are within the scope of their employment. The truck driver is an agent of the trucking company, except when they are an independent contractor.
Suing the trucking company is a boon for an accident victim because additional insurance coverage and assets will be needed to pay for your injuries. Juries also like to punish trucking companies with a long history of violating federal regulations and putting profits over people.
You Can Usually Sue the Trucking Company
The truck driver is an agent of their employer. Thus, the driver and the trucking company are essentially one single entity. It does not make sense to sue the driver individually because they would not have the money to pay for your injuries. Therefore, you would typically sue the employer in whose name the negligent acts were committed.
Suing an Outsourced Party in a Truck Accident Lawsuit
Other third parties may have played a role in your truck accident. The trucking company may have outsourced critical functions because they either wanted to save money or did not have the capacity on their own. For example, the trucking company could have hired a contractor to load the truck or perform cargo loading or maintenance.
The trucking company cannot always avoid liability for a third party’s actions because they outsourced the functions. Ultimately, the trucking company could bear some responsibility if a maintenance subcontractor cut corners. The trucking company would be expected to pay close attention to who it hires for a job and terminate a subcontractor with a poor safety record. The trucking company could be liable for negligent hiring and retention.
Products Liability Lawsuits for Truck Accidents
Another potentially responsible third party is a company that manufactured a defective truck part if it was the cause of the accident. A tire blowout or defective brakes could have caused the crash. In that event, anyone involved in the commerce stream could be liable for a products liability claim.
You would need to show one of the following defects to win your products liability case:
- There is an inherent flaw in the design that makes the product unreasonably dangerous for its intended purpose.
- Something that made the product unreasonably dangerous went wrong in the manufacturing process.
- The manufacturer knew or should have known that their product was dangerous, and they failed to recall the product or warn the public.
Products liability cases are complex. They require extensive scientific evidence and testimony from an expert witness. Nonetheless, you could be entitled to significant financial compensation.
A Lawyer Can Identify All Possible Defendants
Your lawyer can thoroughly investigate the truck accident to help determine all liable parties. You may be able to sue more than one defendant. While your damages remain the same, there may be more assets to pay you for the harm you have suffered.
Contact Our Baltimore Truck Accident Attorneys at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton
If you have been injured in a truck accident, our Baltimore truck accident attorneys at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton can help. Call us at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or complete our online form to schedule a free consultation.
We have offices in Baltimore, Glen Burnie, Lanham, and Owings Mills, allowing us to represent clients in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.