Third-party liability in a truck accident case refers to a situation where a person or entity other than the truck driver or trucking company is responsible for a truck accident.
If you suffered an injury in a truck accident, consider some third parties who could be liable and what that means for your case.
Potentially liable third parties
Sometimes trucking companies will outsource the maintenance of their fleet of trucks. In that case, the company in charge of inspecting and performing mechanical work could be liable for an accident if the cause relates to their work. For example, if they failed to change a balding tire, resulting in a blowout that caused the accident.
If the truck rolled over or dumped cargo, the party responsible for loading the trailer could be liable for violating FMCSA regulations. Additionally, if the truck manufacturer produced and distributed a truck with a defective part or system, they could be liable for damages if that part malfunctioned, causing an accident.
How third-party liability can impact your case
Sometimes more than one party is responsible for the accident. That can mean there is more than one defendant for your claim or even more than one lawsuit. For example, if the trucking company and truck manufacturer were both negligent, you may file a separate product liability suit against the manufacturer.
The evidence needed to prove negligence against liable third parties can vary significantly, sometimes making the case more complex. However, in a civil case, the burden of proof is lower than in criminal court.