Can I sue a trucking company after an accident?

If you were involved in a serious car crash involving a large truck or 18-wheeler in Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Maryland, or Virginia, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit based on one or more of the following claims:

18-wheeler negligence

Majority of truck accident lawsuits are brought based on the allegation that the truck driver or the trucking company’s “failure to use reasonable care” caused the accident, and therefore the victims may recover damages for their injuries. To prevail on a claim of negligence the victim must prove:

  • The driver had a duty of care to the surrounding vehicles while he or she was operating the truck;
  • The driver breached that duty by his or her actions or inactions;
  • The victim’s injury resulted from the accident; and
  • The accident that occurred was the cause-in-fact of the victims injury.

Examples of negligence include:

  • Driving while using a cell phone;
  • Driving beyond the maximum driving hours while tired;
  • Failure to obey traffic laws;
  • Driving while under the influence of alcohol or certain medications;
  • Over-loaded trucks;
  • Failure to stop at weigh stations in accordance with the law; and
  • Speeding or failure to use appropriate maneuvers to prevent an accident

Truck accident product liability claims

A victim involved in an accident may have a product liability claim against the manufacturer of the truck if any part of the truck has a defect and that defect is a contributing factor to the accident. A defect is an imperfection created during the manufacturing or assembly of a product, which results in product being unsafe for its intended use. To prevail on a product liability claim, the victim must show:

  • The defective part of the truck was unreasonably dangerous;
  • The truck was being operated in the manner intended by the manufacturer; and
  • No modification or repair was made on the truck since is left the manufacturer.

Product liability claims may be proven using either negligence, strict liability, or breach of warranty theories. If a victim is unable to prove negligence by showing the company failed to “exercise reasonable care,” the victim may prove strict liability by showing that no matter what care the company exercised or precautions taken, the company is still responsible for the trucking accident that injured you or a loved one in Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Maryland, or Virginia. Alternatively, the victim may prove breach of warranty by showing either the company’s defective part violated the warranty given by the manufacturer or the company’s part violated a warranty automatically applied to the product by state law.

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