Statistically speaking, truck accidents might not be the greatest threat on the roads around New Orleans. The greater volume of cars makes crashes between smaller vehicles more likely. But when they happen, collisions involving commercial vehicles tend to be more serious. Trucks are bigger and heavier. They also travel at posted speeds or better, making them formidable destructive forces in a crash.
Besides the increased risk of greater injury, victims also need to be aware that pursuing claims for compensation and recovery after truck collisions is more complicated because of many factors. While personal vehicle crashes typically involve just the drivers and their insurers, the list of potential defendants in truck collisions is more expansive. They could include:
- The driver
- The trucking company
- The tractor manufacturer
- The trailer manufacturer
- The provider of truck maintenance
- The shipping contractor
In addition, insurers for all of the above entities could face liability obligations.
Another crucial element may be the nature of the relationship between the driver and the trucking company. If he or she is a regular employee that's one thing. Drivers often work as independent contractors, though, and that changes the liability dynamic because questions can be raised about how much control the company actually exercised over the driver.
While driver negligence must never be ruled out, some common characteristics of the logistics industry also require scrutiny, such as compensation models or schedules that motivate drivers to violate speed or hours of operation rules.
Trucking companies, their drivers, and truck manufacturers face high legal standards for maintaining safety. The depth of regulation also increases legal complexity that can put injured victims at a disadvantage when trying to resolve claims. To balance the scales, consulting an experienced attorney just makes sense.