Accidents involving commercial trucks can produce surprising property devastation and injuries, and knowing how to begin recovery after such an accident may seem like an overwhelming task. For many survivors of truck accidents, it is difficult enough to focus on physical recovery from without concerning themselves with the legal side of the accident. Unfortunately, if this goes unaddressed, the victims may face enormous medical costs and lost wages without fair compensation, or no input on the compensation they deserve.

After any truck accident, victims should always seek to understand who bears legal responsibility for the damages and injuries in order to file a proper personal injury claim. Without filing a personal injury claim, it is unlikely that a victim will receive full, proper compensation, and may face serious financial hardship in the meantime. Unfortunately, it is not always simple to determine who is actually liable in the accident, and sometimes the answers are surprising.

Many parties may hold liability

Unlike car accidents that involve other consumer drivers, accidents involving commercial trucks usually involve many different parties beyond the drivers of the involved vehicles. In cases where the driver is an independent contractor who rents his or her services to a carrier, the driver’s own insurance may hold liability, but if the driver works as an employee of a carrier, then the carrier company itself may be on the hook for the damages.

Often, a driver is only delivering a load of freight packed by some other party. If the freight load shifts during transit, the shift in weight may contribute to the accident, or cause it entirely. In such cases, the company that packed the freight before the driver transported it may hold liability.

Large trucks require many high-performance components to operate effectively and efficiently. They also must receive ongoing maintenance and repairs to keep all of their interdependent systems running smoothly. If some component of the truck malfunctions and causes the accident, the manufacturer of the component may hold some liability in the accident, just as a repair shop that services the vehicle poorly may hold liability if a bad repair causes an accident.

Build a claim carefully

In order to file a strong claim that can deliver all the compensation that you deserve, you must properly identify the liable parties and justify your claim against them. Be sure to use all of the resources you have at your disposal to build a strong claim that protects your rights and interests while seeking full compensation for your losses.