Do you know that you may have to sue multiple parties if involved in a commercial trucking collision? Learn why it can be a real legal nightmare.
Almost everyone would agree that getting hit by an 18-wheeler would be a real nightmare and absolutely terrifying.
But, the damage to your vehicle and likely severe injuries make for just the beginning.
The resulting legal battle can be a real mess to sort out too. Fortunately, if you have a good personal injury lawyer, you don’t have to worry about any of that.
Why could it be a mess?
Simple… you can have many more defendants than meets the eye, even if you and the 18 wheeler are the only vehicles involved in the accident.
Let us quickly explain why.
Theoretically, the driver, trucking company, company who performed any maintenance on the truck, and manufacturer of the cargo being hauled could all be responsible for your injuries to some degree. That would probably be an extreme scenario. But, it wouldn’t be unrealistic for at least 2 of the 4 factors to come into play.
The Importance of Identifying All Responsible Parties
Now, let’s say the driver was exhausted. They had driven more hours than they were supposed to. But in addition to that, the tires on the truck weren’t properly maintained either and one of the tires blew out.
The truck driver as well as the company that did the maintenance – which could be a 3rd party or the trucking company – could both bear responsibility.
Identifying all potential parties at the onset of the case increases the likelihood of a pre-suit settlement and allows the case to be developed correctly. Often times – if you suffer devastating injuries – identifying all possible sources of recovery is critical.
Trials Become More Likely
While we do not like to go to trial unless absolutely necessary, it does happen in about 5% of cases. In truck accidents cases with multiple defendants the likelihood of trial can certainly increase.
And it’s really out of your hands and ours. That’s because the defendants have to negotiate among themselves how much responsibility each bears. If they can’t agree, it takes a trial to figure it out.
Now, add on top of all this the fact that Federal law governs 18-wheelers and you have a real legal rat’s nest on your hands.
That’s why you want the best personal injury lawyer you can get regardless of whether you are involved in a simple or complex truck accident. You don’t have to pay anything to hire one because they only charge a fee when you win. And at Mullen & Mullen, we charge a 29% fee (33.3% is most common) because we are confident in our ability to get our clients the results they need and deserve.
Shane V. Mullen is an attorney licensed by the State of Texas for the general practice of law, and the Managing Partner at Mullen & Mullen Law Firm in Dallas, TX. His firm focuses exclusively on personal injury law and has been in business for 40 years (since 1983). Before becoming a lawyer, Shane worked for his father as an accident injury claims investigator.