Anyone in California confronted with the financial and emotional consequences of a vehicle accident might have questions about who they can recover damages from. Personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits are based on evidence of negligence. In legal claims following commercial vehicle accidents, there might be more parties than the truck drivers to name as defendants.
Potential defendants could include trucking companies, employers, contractors and even insurance companies, along with the truck driver. To name some of these other defendants, the plaintiff must prove that an employment relationship existed between the truck operator and a shipping or trucking company. Furthermore, the plaintiff’s attorney must show that the driver was under some degree of control of the company and that the accident occurred in the course of the trucker’s employment relationship. If the truck driver was an independent contractor, the plaintiff will need to show that the company had some level of supervision over the contracting driver.
Also, all the potential defendants might carry separate insurance coverage, and establishing liability against each one will be vital in recovering maximum damages. In some cases, the nature of the truck cargo can exacerbate the severity of injuries suffered, in which case the shipper or manufacturer can also be held responsible for damages, particularly if hazardous cargo was involved.
This complicated field of the law is typically best navigated by an attorney with extensive experience in dealing with the intricacies of civil lawsuits that involve commercial vehicle accidents in California. With a skilled attorney’s support and guidance, the plaintiff’s chances of receiving maximum recovery are higher.