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Third Party Liability in Trucking Accidents

Posted on May 25, 2023

Third party liability refers to the legal responsibility of individuals or entities that are indirectly involved in an accident. In the context of trucking accidents, these third parties can include manufacturers, maintenance providers, cargo loaders, shippers, and others. When their negligence or actions contribute to an accident, they can be held liable alongside the truck driver and the trucking company.

Examples of Third Party Liability

Potential third parties that may be liable after a trucking accident include the following.

  • Truck Manufacturers: Defective parts or equipment can lead to truck accidents, which would make the manufacturer or supplier of the faulty component liable for the resulting damages. For instance, if a defect in the truck’s braking system causes a collision.
  • Maintenance Providers: Trucking companies often outsource maintenance and repairs to specialized service providers. If negligent maintenance or inadequate repairs contribute to an accident, the maintenance provider may share responsibility.
  • Cargo Loaders: Improperly loaded cargo can cause a truck to become unbalanced or unstable, leading to accidents. In such cases, the company responsible for loading the cargo may be held liable if their negligence contributed to the cause of the crash.
  • Shippers and Brokers: Those responsible for coordinating the transportation of goods, such as shippers and brokers, may be liable if they fail to exercise reasonable care in ensuring the safety of the cargo or in selecting a qualified carrier.

Trucking accidents are often complex, and liability can be shared among several parties involved in the operation.

Types of Compensation Available in a Third Party Claim

When pursuing a third party trucking accident claim, you may be entitled to the following types of compensation:

  • Medical Expenses: Trucking accidents often result in substantial medical expenses for immediate treatment, surgeries, hospital stays, medication, physical therapy, rehabilitation, and ongoing medical care. Compensation for medical expenses seeks to cover these costs, including future medical needs.
  • Lost Wages and Loss of Earning Capacity: Compensation for the time you are unable to work due to your injuries. If you suffer a long-term or permanent disability, you may be entitled to compensation for reduced earning capacity for the difference in the income you can earn now compared to before.
  • Pain and Suffering: Compensation for the physical pain, emotional distress, and diminished quality of life you have had to endure.
  • Property Damage: The costs of repairing or replacing your damaged vehicle, as well as any other personal property damaged in the crash.
  • Wrongful Death: In tragic cases where a trucking accident results in the loss of a loved one, the surviving family members may be entitled to compensation for funeral expenses, loss of financial support, loss of companionship, and other related losses.
  • Punitive Damages: If the third party’s actions were particularly egregious, such as in instances of gross negligence or intentional misconduct, punitive damages may be awarded to punish the responsible party and deter similar behavior in the future.

If you or a loved one has suffered harm in a trucking accident, speak to an experienced attorney as soon as possible. Our Waco truck accident attorney can handle every aspect of your case while you recover and ensure you receive fair compensation.