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Naming a defendant in trucking wreck can be difficult

Between the disastrous wreckages and severe injuries, accidents involving big rigs can be very complicated. The fact that it’s often hard to pin down a defendant in these cases makes them even more difficult.

Without a doubt, the trucking industry is a major backbone of the American economy. Without trucks, many goods could not be moved from point A to point B, vital equipment would not be delivered, homes could not be moved, gas would not reach the furthest corners of the nation and grain and other foodstuffs would never make it to market. This means 18-wheelers and heavy trucks of all sizes and shapes are on the roads virtually 24/7/365. It’s not much wonder accidents involving these behemoths can and do happen.

The major complication in trucking wrecks is often determining just who the defendants are in the case. “While you’d think this would be fairly obvious, as in it’s the truck driver, this isn’t always true. So, really, the answer to who is going to be sued in a trucking accident is kind of tricky at times. For instance, if the trucker works for a logistics transport company, they may be an employee of that firm or they may be considered to be an independent contractor. If the driver is an employee, that means the trucking company should be the defendant,” said Brooks Schuelke, an Austin accident lawyer with Perlmutter & Schuelke, L.L.P.

Aside from determining who the party at fault is in a big rig crash, there are other facets of accidents like this that need serious attention. While things may look one way at first glance, often probing deeper into the crash will reveal other things the lawyer needs to know to make a good case. This may include things like finding out if the trucker was speeding, driving aggressively, under the influence of a drug, driving while distracted or driving without enough sleep.

Take the case of the trucker who was watching a movie on his laptop while he was driving his big rig. He struck and killed a mother and her young baby as she was crossing the road. “No question the driver in that instance was negligent. These are the kinds of things we need to find out to take a case to settlement or verdict. It’s information like this that can drive up the amount of the damage award as well. For example, in the case of the trucker watching his laptop movie, there were punitive damages awarded, as well as compensatory damages,” Schuelke said.

For those that have been in a trucking accident and survived to tell their story, contact a skilled and dedicated Austin personal injury lawyer for help.

Contact Perlmutter & Schuelke PLLC at or (512) 476-4944.


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