After a truck accident on I-75 in Henry County last week, some may be wondering who is at fault. According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, a motorcyclist was killed last Thursday morning in a collision with a tractor-trailer. I-75 northbound was shut down for several hours after the incident and reopened again in the afternoon.
The crash apparently occurred when a truck, going southbound, crossed the median and crashed into a northbound motorcycle.
Charges are currently pending, but questions are already looming: if you're involved in a truck accident, who should you sue? Here's a general breakdown:
Depending on who's ultimately liable, there are three general possibilities when it comes to the injured party's options for suing. In this case, in a truck accident, claims might be brought forth against:
- The truck driver. The truck driver is an obvious place to start. Usually, after a motor vehicle accident, the driver of the vehicle is one of first parties to focus on for damages. There are many theories of fault for liable drivers, but negligence is one of the most common theories of liability. Negligence requires duty, a breach of that duty, the defendant's actions causing the injury, and damages. Some common causes of truck accidents cited in negligence cases include: drunk driving, driving while distracted, speeding, and not paying attention to the road.
- The trucking company or driver's employer. What if the truck driver was acting negligently while driving his company's truck? Under the doctrine of respondeat superior, liability may be imparted on the employer in the event that an accident occurred while on the job. The employer's liability turns on a few key questions, such as: was the driver operating in the scope of employment, or was he simply driving the company car in the course of non-work related actions?
- The truck manufacturer. If the truck accident was a result of a defect in the truck's parts or in the truck's manufacturing, there may be a possible product liability case. Product liability exists, in general, when a defective or dangerous product causes an injury. Usually, the manufacturer is found liable if it has placed the defective product out into the market.
Of course, liability issues after a truck accident are often complicated and can turn on a number of factors. It's best to consult a local truck accident lawyer who can help you sort out the details of your case.