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Who is Liable if You’re Involved in a Car Accident with a Tractor-Trailer?

Sharing the road with big-rig trucks is part of life on America’s highways.

These gigantic vehicles are essential to our way of life, as they deliver goods to the stores where we shop for essentials and luxury items. As much as we rely upon the service that tractor-trailers provide, we are also a bit intimidated whenever we see them looming in our rearview mirrors or barreling by in the lane next to us, and that’s with good cause: Tractor-trailer accidents cause significant loss of life and traumatic injury, and it is usually the passengers in automobiles that take the brunt of the injuries.

As is true of any car accident, the determination of liability for damages in a car accident involving a tractor-trailer always has to start with the question of who was at fault, but if you’re involved in a car accident with a tractor-trailer and you believe that there was negligence involved, liability is likely to extend far beyond the driver and may include the trucking company that employs the driver, the service responsible for upkeep and maintenance of the truck, the manufacturer of the truck itself or any of its parts that failed, and even the company that the truck was headed to.

The determination of who is at fault is entirely dependent upon the specifics of your car accident and all of the factors that contributed to it. If the tractor-trailer driver swerved to avoid debris that was on the roadway, a percentage of liability can be assigned to whoever left the debris there, or if the debris was there for an extended period of time it can be assigned to the agency responsible for clearing the highway and keeping it safe. If the driver was intoxicated then a percentage of liability may be assigned to the bartender that overserved them, as well as to the bar itself.

All litigation involving injury and negligence begins with a thorough investigation of the facts of the case. This helps to determine what led up to and contributed to the car accident, who all of the at-fault parties are, and what damages were suffered. An experienced personal injury attorney will have the knowledge, resources and passion you need to pursue the answers to these questions and seek justice on your behalf.

For information on how we can help, contact us today to set up a time for a free consultation.