18-Wheeler Truck Accidents: Multiple Defendants and Settlements
Oftentimes, in 18-wheeler truck accident cases, multiple defendants may hold partial responsibility for the accident. The truck driver will almost always be liable for your injuries if you were not at fault for the accident, but several other parties may bear financial liability as well. Potentially liable parties in trucking accidents include:
- Truck owners: Often truck drivers do not own the vehicles they drive. When a truck or tractor-trailer is involved in an accident, the truck owner may be liable if they were negligent in properly maintaining the vehicle, including failing to regularly inspect the truck.
- Commercial trucking businesses: Commercial trucking businesses will generally either hire employees or independent drivers. In either event, the trucking company can be held responsible when its driver is involved in an accident. Failure to adequately supervise employees or screen independent contractors can serve as grounds for liability.
- Certified truck inspectors: Truck owners and drivers rely on inspectors to alert them to potential safety issues. If a certified inspector fails to perform certain required tests, they may be held liable when the unsafe vehicle is involved in an accident.
This is just a look at a few of the many parties that could be liable in a truck accident case. Your semi-truck accident attorney will examine the facts of your accident and uncover all potentially liable parties.
Settlement Issues When More Than One Defendant Ss Involved
When multiple defendants are involved in a truck accident suit, depending upon the facts, the parties may all be equally responsible for paying your damages, or they may only be responsible for the damages they inflicted.
Multiple-defendant cases are often complex and involve intensive issues of liability. Negotiating a settlement when multiple defendants are involved can be even more difficult. Trials are more likely in multiple-defendant cases, but this does not mean that a settlement is impossible to achieve.
The key will be reaching a consensus between the parties as to the percentage of liability of each. In the alternative, the defendants could agree to equally share responsibility in an effort to avoid trial.
It is possible to settle with one or more parties and sue the other defendants for the remainder of your damages at trial. This does present some legal hurdles, as depending upon your jurisdiction, defendants may be less willing to settle because they could face claims from other defendants for contribution.
Contribution claims allow a defendant who pays more than his or her share to collect overpayment from the other defendants who paid less than their fair share. Any truck accident victim whose case may involve multiple defendants will need an experienced truck accident attorney who can walk them through the multifaceted settlement process.
Zinda Law Group: Assisting in Even the Most Complex of Settlement Negotiations
Multiple-defendant cases can be complex and require a thorough knowledge of insurance laws, as well as settlement practices. If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident that may involve multiple at-fault parties, the nationwide truck accident attorneys at Zinda Law Group offer the experienced assistance you need.
We understand the unique nature of 18-wheeler accidents, and our experienced injury lawyers can guide you through the intricate settlement negotiation process. Our dedicated truck attorneys will always fight to see that you receive full compensation for your injuries stemming from the multiple-defendant accident, including compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and rehabilitation expenses.
Call Zinda Law Group toll-free at (800) 863-5312 to get started with a free consultation.