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Multiple defendants may be liable for a semitrailer crash

On Behalf of | Oct 8, 2021 | Personal Injury

Sadly, truck accidents are not uncommon in the United States and often lead to serious injuries or fatalities. When this happens, it is important that all responsible parties are held responsible for the crash. A recent collision that killed a New Jersey man highlights the many issues that may come up in a crash between commercial vehicles.

New Jersey man dies in commercial vehicle accident

A New Jersey man recently lost his life in a tragic accident on an Indiana toll road. The man, age 40, was operating a straight truck when he rear-ended a driver operating a semi-truck. Indiana State Police report the straight truck did not brake when it crashed into the semi stopped in the righthand lane of traffic. The New Jersey man was trapped in his vehicle and died at the scene of the crash.

The police report stated that speeding and tailgating contributed to the collision. However, State police stated it is too soon to determine whether a medical episode, driver fatigue, distracted driving or substance abuse also contributed to the crash.

Who can be held liable for commercial vehicle accidents?

While liability for this recent accident has not yet been determined, it highlights the fact that if you are injured in an accident involving a commercial vehicle and want to pursue a lawsuit it is important that you identify all possible defendants.

For example, one potential defendant is the truck driver who was behind the wheel when the collision occurred. But, under the legal doctrine of “respondeat superior” it may be possible to name additional defendants who were responsible for the crash. Respondeat superior simply means that employers are responsible for their employee’s actions while the employee is acting within the scope of their employment. Note that respondeat superior does not apply to independent contractors. This means that the trucking company may be held liable for their employee’s negligence.

Learn more about your rights in a commercial vehicle accidents

Commercial vehicle accidents are especially devastating because they often result in serious injuries or fatalities. After all, a semi-truck weighing tens of thousands of pounds has sheer physics on its side if it hits a smaller vehicle. If you are involved in a truck accident, you will want to identify all possible defendants so you can hold the appropriate parties responsible for the crash.