If you’ve been injured in an accident with an 18-wheeler in Chattanooga, things may get pretty complicated before anyone offers you a dime for your injury claim. With an 18-wheeler, the accident isn’t just about the driver or even the company whose logo is painted on the side of the trailer he’s hauling. There may be other parties involved with company names not listed on the police report.
The complications of assessing liability, deciding responsibility, and figuring out whose insurance should take care of your damages are difficult to handle. Those missing details can slow down the process of getting you the money you deserve, but experienced Chattanooga 18-Wheeler accident lawyers can sort through the issues.
Are There Any Contractual Relationships?
Whether the driver who struck your car was an independent owner/operator or the employee of a large trucking firm, when he rolls his big rig across the country, he’s usually carrying a load of goods for someone else. That means there may be several contractual relationships at play, and the parties who executed those contracts may be partly responsible for paying your injury claim.
The driver could be under subcontract to another company. He may have executed a contract to ship a trailer full of goods for a manufacturer or agreed to move someone else’s loaded trailer to a nearby destination. The driver might have leased his rig from someone else. All of these relationships involve contracts which may make other parties responsible for your injuries, especially if your injuries are too catastrophic for one insurance policy to cover.
Was the Driver Bobtailing or Deadheading?
Bobtailing and deadheading are trucking terms you would probably never need to know until you were hit by an 18 wheeler.
Deadheading means the driver was on his way to a destination with an empty trailer attached to his truck. Bobtailing means the driver was traveling without a trailer hooked up at all. Bobtailing and deadheading are key factors in determining who was responsible for putting a driver on the road and whose liability insurance should cover your injuries.
Who Will Help you Sort Through the Details?
When you sustain injuries due to the negligence of a driver operating an 18-wheeler on Chattanooga’s streets and highways, you’ll need help in determining which parties are legally responsible for your injuries. The police report will provide the name of the driver and the owner of the vehicle, but that probably won’t be enough. Once you begin your search, you may learn that there are multiple contracts and duplicate insurance policies. Perhaps you’ll find out that there wasn’t enough insurance to cover your injuries, or that there was no insurance at all.
It really does sound complicated. It really can get frustrating, but experienced Chattanoga 18-wheeler accident lawyers can help you work through the complications. Contact us and we’ll fight to get you the settlement you deserve.