When involved in a truck accident, there may be more than one person you can sue for your injuries.
Most trucking accidents are covered under negligence laws and who you sue depends on the accident. Under negligence laws, the driver and trucking company have a duty to exercise reasonable care when on the road. If they fail to do so and end up injuring you, you may be able to sue.
Here are three common truck collisions and who you can sue.
1. Collisions With Fire Trucks. Although fire trucks save lives, their high speeds and reckless driving could cause a collision. For example, a man suffered a broken leg and some minor injuries after a fire truck crashed into his mini-van.
If you're hit by a fire truck, you may be able to sue the city and the fire department for your injuries. Unlike suing an individual, suing a city requires that you file a "notice of claim" within a short time of your injury -- often around 60 days. This is because government agencies have "sovereign immunity" that prevent them from being sued without permission.
2. Truck Debris Accidents. One of the scariest things to see on the road is a truck carrying questionably secured cargo. If the cargo isn't held down correctly, it could seriously injure or kill someone when it flies off.
In those scenarios, you may be able to sue both the driver and the trucking company. The driver may be liable if he or she didn't properly secure the cargo, even though he or she was trained to do so. If the accident occurred during the scope of employment and the driver was hired to transport the cargo, then you may also be able to sue the trucking company.
3. Drunk Truck Drivers. Truck collisions that are caused by drunk truckers could also result in both the driver and trucking company being sued. If the driver was an independent contractor, then his employer may be able to avoid liability. However, if the trucking company exercised a large degree of control over the contractor's employment, you may still be able to sue them. If they knew that the driver had a history of drug or alcohol abuse on the job, but still continued to let him or her work without proper safeguards, the company could also be liable.
If you need help sizing up legal options after your truck accident, consult a truck accident attorney in Atlanta to get started on your case.