Are Motor Carriers the Only Responsible Parties?

Imagine this scenario: you’re driving down the freeway, and then one of your tires goes flat. Your family is in the car with you, so you pull to the side of the freeway and begin to change the tire. Unbeknownst to you, further down the road approaching you is an 18-wheeler, owned and operated by Acme, Inc., one of the largest distributors of home goods in America. As the 18-wheeler approaches, it glides to the shoulder, striking your car, killing all the occupants. The weather is clear, the road is straight and flat, visibility is clear for over a mile. Who may be held responsible for this horrific act?

A crash caused by a commercial vehicle driver is obviously the fault of the driver, but others in the supply chain might also be at fault. Does the family’s plaintiff attorney file suit against only the driver? No, an experienced plaintiff’s attorney understands the need to identify and investigate not only the driver and the shipper, but also the broker, subhauler, truck owner, trailer owner, etc. The laws are clear regarding liability for the actions of employees.

Drivers on the public roads accept the risk they could be in a motor vehicle accident but being struck by an 18-wheeler is not what drivers imagine as acceptable risk. The disparity in weights between a car and an 18-wheeler often bring horrific results, and these are unacceptable risks to common motor vehicle operation. Everyone needs an experienced and knowledgeable attorney to protect their rights in this type of situation. If someone you know has been injured by an 18-wheeler, or any motor vehicle incident, contact an attorney at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner.