Collisions involving commercial vehicles are some of the most devastating because tractor-trailers are so much larger than passenger cars and can cause considerable damage. If you were hurt in a wreck with an 18-wheeler, you may be wondering who is liable for the resulting losses. Although you may feel inclined to blame the driver, there are several factors to consider before naming anyone in the claim. If you’re not sure where to begin, a personal injury attorney can evaluate the particulars of your case. In the meantime, here is what you should know about liability in truck accidents in general. 

The Driver May or May Not Be Responsible 

When a large truck crash is the result of driver error, the trucker will be financially liable for the damages if he or she is an independent contractor. They are responsible for purchasing their own liability coverage, which would apply in the event of an accident. 

If the trucker is classified as an employee, on the other hand, injured parties would likely name the actual motor carrier in their suit. In most cases, employers are responsible for the actions of their employees. If you’re not sure whether to name the trucker or motor carrier in your claim, a personal injury attorney can advise you regarding the proceedings. 

Other Parties Could Have Played a Role

personal injury attorneyDriver error is not the only cause of collisions involving commercial vehicles. In fact, more than 10% of wrecks are caused by vehicle malfunctions or environmental factors. Therefore, neither the driver nor the motor carrier may be liable for injuries sustained in a large truck crash. If a vehicle malfunction contributed to the accident, the manufacturer or maintenance contractor may be responsible. And if poor road conditions are to blame, the local agencies in charge of maintaining the streets might be liable. Potentially at-fault parties also include the cargo loading company and other motorists who were involved in the collision. 


If you were hurt in a large truck crash, turn to a compassionate personal injury attorney at Fitzpatrick, Skemp & Associates, LLC. Located in La Crosse, WI, this firm is committed to helping injured, ill, and disabled parties pursue the funds they need to feel financially secure. For more than two decades, their strategic lawyers have been helping clients throughout Minnesota and Wisconsin recover workers’ compensation payments and Social Security disability benefits, not to mention sizable payouts following auto accidents, animal attacks, and nursing home neglect. Fill out the form on their website or call (877) 784-1230 to schedule your free case review with a personal injury attorney on their team.