What if I am partly to blame for the trucking accident?

June 7, 2024 | Thomas L. Stroble
What if I am partly to blame for the trucking accident?

Being in a truck crash is usually terrifying, and you may have severe injuries. You also could worry that you were partly to blame for the trucking accident, so you may not receive compensation. The good news is that you can still get compensation even when you are partially at fault. A truck crash attorney can review the case to determine who was at fault and whether compensation is possible. Your attorney will play a critical role in proving fault and potentially obtaining compensation for you.

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You May Not Be To Blame At All 

First, remember that many motor vehicle accident victims blame themselves for the accident. It’s human nature. Psychological researchers have revealed that people who deal with traumatic events, such as traffic accidents, may feel blame even when they did nothing wrong. Why this happens is unclear. However, certain experts believe self-blame is a way we cope with a traumatic event. You could bear no responsibility for the truck accident and your injuries, but you could still blame yourself.

Ascertaining blame after a serious truck accident isn’t for you to determine. You were in the crash and are not objective. Plus, you may have injuries, and adrenaline is probably coursing through your veins, making it impossible to see things clearly. You need a reliable, skilled truck accident attorney to evaluate the accident facts and relevant laws to assign blame.

An attorney may conclude that liability for the truck accident differs from what you think. You could be minimally at fault or completely blameless for the accident that hurt you. The best way to know how the accident happened is to speak to a personal injury attorney who often handles truck accidents. There is no charge to consult a personal injury attorney, and you don’t pay upfront legal fees for their services. Thus, there is no risk of having a truck accident representing you, and a lot of benefits.

Many Parties Can Be At Fault For The Truck Accident

A wrecked truck being rescued from a roadside ditch on a spring day after a cargo road accident.

One of the different aspects of truck accidents is that many parties can be to blame. Every truck crash differs from the next, and not every accident has a single case. After your truck accident lawyer reviews your case, they could conclude one or all of the following are to blame, not you:

  • The truck driver was speeding, driving while fatigued, or changing lanes without looking, leading to the crash. 
  • The trucking carrier didn’t safely maintain the vehicle, causing a crash. For example, you could mistakenly think you didn’t brake fast enough to avoid an accident with a truck. But the evidence shows that the truck’s brakes or worn tires failed, leading to the crash. 
  • The company that loaded or balanced the truck didn’t do its job, and the load shifted, causing the truck to roll over. 
  • Another vehicle didn’t maintain a safe distance from the truck and caused the truck accident. 
  • The truck manufacturer that supplied the parts put fault parts in the truck, leading to brake failure. 

These examples show you should not assume you have accurately assessed liability after a truck crash. Many parties that you are not aware of could be at fault. A key role for your attorney is to review the accident and determine its cause or causes.

How Negligence Is Proven In A Truck Accident

You may not know for certain yet who caused the truck crash. However, you could be entitled to compensation when another party is at fault for your injuries after a truck accident. Negligence in any accident is shown by proving the following statements:

  • The defendant owed you a duty of care. For example, a truck driver has a duty to drive safely and not injure other drivers and pedestrians. 
  • The defendant violated the duty of care. For instance, the truck driver ran a red light because of driver fatigue, and you hit the trailer, and your vehicle slid under it. 
  • You suffered injuries in the accident, such as injuries and lost income. 
  • You wouldn’t have suffered your losses if not for the accident. 

If your truck crash lawyer proves these points, you can receive compensation in a truck accident claim or lawsuit. You could receive compensation from various parties, including the driver, trucking company, cargo company, other drivers, vehicle and parts manufacturers, and more.

Proving Negligence In A Truck Crash Is Complicated

A truck crash could indicate that the driver broke a traffic law or that the vehicle wasn’t properly maintained.

Proving another party was at fault in a truck accident may sound simple, but it isn’t. Proving negligence requires gathering and analyzing evidence to prove each element we mentioned above. It sounds straightforward, but there are many complications involved in truck accidents. As noted earlier, there are many potentially liable parties in truck accidents and it takes time to sort everything out.

Negligence means someone or something didn’t exercise their required standard of care. A truck crash could mean the driver broke a traffic law or the vehicle wasn’t properly maintained. You might believe the accident happened because the driver didn’t stop at a red light. However, proving this fact in court or to the insurance company can be difficult.

First, truck accidents often involve several parties. This means that fault may not simply be the truck driver’s. Also at fault could be the carrier, cargo company, and even the truck manufacturer. Determining which party or parties is at fault may necessitate a long investigation that requires the high skills of a truck accident attorney. You could assume someone or a company is at fault, including yourself, and the cause could be entirely something else.

Second, insurance companies will often try to avoid or shift blame. They could say you were negligent when you were not. The insurance company may question your actions and say you shouldn’t have taken them. You should never let the insurance company blame you when you didn’t do anything. Get a truck accident lawyer involved to protect your rights.

Remember that you may have been in a truck crash where you think you were partially at fault. As noted earlier, truck accidents are complex, and you may not have been at fault even if you think you were. You should tell your attorney if you suspect you were partially at blame. Just because you think you are doesn’t mean you are. But it’s always important to relay that information to your lawyer. Let them sort out how the crash happened.

Potential Truck Crash Compensation 

If a truck hit and injured you, you could recover compensation. Compensation that you may receive could include:

  • Medical expenses: This may include money for surgeries, hospital stays, physical therapy, rehabilitation, and future medical care. 
  • Lost earnings: If you cannot work for a certain period or permanently, you could receive compensation for lost earnings. This can include past, current, and future income. 
  • Property losses: If your vehicle was damaged or totaled, you can be compensated. 
  • Pain and suffering: You can receive compensation for your physical pain and suffering from the accident and treatments. 
  • Loss of life enjoyment: Truck accidents can leave you in pain and injured for years or life. You may receive money for loss of enjoyment of life. 
  • Future losses: If you have a permanent injury, you may be able to receive compensation for your future losses. It may include future medical care and lost income. 

You can receive some or all of the compensation above after a truck crash in a claim or lawsuit. A truck accident lawyer can review your case for free to determine if there is a case.

The Insurance Company May Stress Your Role In The Crash 

The concept of nonstop service: a professional truck driver showing a hand holding a virtual "24". Delivery service and express transport products around the clock.

You may think you were partially to blame. It’s not necessarily true, and your attorney will fight any argument that you were at fault. But it’s possible that the insurance company could seize on something that makes you look partly to blame for the trucking accident. They might play up the role you had in the accident. The insurance company knows the rules in your state and is trying to get you less compensation than you deserve. They will look for reasons to blame you.

Your tractor-trailer crash attorney is there to defend you and your rights. They are not merely there to prove the other party caused the crash but to defend you from unfair allegations that reduce what you are paid. The attorney may need to justify what you did when you think the spotlight should largely be on the trucker or carrier.

There are many strategies your attorney can use to minimize or rule out any blame you have for the accident:

  • Calling eyewitnesses that show the truck driver drove in a way that violated the duty of care. Eyewitnesses may also testify that you didn’t do whatever you are being accused of that contributed to the accident. 
  • Showing photos and videos from the accident scene to exonerate you as playing a role in the truck accident. 
  • Obtaining data from the truck’s data recorder or the trucking company to show who caused the accident. 
  • Showing the police report stating who or what caused the accident. 
  • Showing cell phone data that proves the trucker used his phone when the crash happened. They also may show your cell phone records proving you weren’t using it. 
  • Reveal physical evidence from the crash scene, such as skid marks, proving that you didn’t cause the crash. 

Remember, your lawyer is there as much to defend you as to prove that another party caused the accident. You can always bet on the trucking insurance company to try to shift blame onto you. So, always retain a skilled commercial truck crash attorney to defend your rights.

The Insurance Company Doesn’t Have The Final Say 

The insurance company might try to blame you for the crash, and your attorney will defend you if needed. But the insurance company doesn’t have the ultimate say in the case. If it does not offer a fair settlement for your truck accident injuries, your attorney can always decide to file a truck accident lawsuit.

You can discontinue the insurance settlement talks and go to court if a lawsuit is filed. Then, the jury has the final say about who caused the accident. The insurance company will be the defendant and represent the carrier or driver in the next steps.

The jury’s job is to review the facts and hear case evidence from all sides. The jury will decide who caused the crash, and they can assign blame to various parties. When the jury decides, your role in the crash could be minimal or nonexistent, regardless of your beliefs. It isn’t unusual for the insurance company’s aggressive tactics to backfire. However, going to court means a chance you get nothing. That’s why your truck accident lawyer will carefully weigh the risks and benefits of going to trial or settling.

You Must Hire A Truck Accident Lawyer Right Away

A traffic regulation sign for safety in truck driving: a blue semi-truck losing control and getting stuck while attempting a u-turn on the highway. The sign reads "No U-turn for Trucks".

There is always a good chance that the insurance company will partially or completely blame you for a truck accident. The insurance provider will send investigators to the crash scene, sometimes when victims are still being removed from the vehicles. The insurance company may call you within minutes of the crash being reported to get you to say something to imperil your case. This is why you should say as little as possible after the accident and call a truck accident attorney after you get medical attention.

The longer you go without a lawyer, the greater the trucking and insurance companies may take advantage of you. You don’t want to be blamed for a truck accident when you are the victim.

Contact A Truck Accident Attorney 

Do you think you were partially to blame for a trucking accident? You could be worried about getting fair compensation for your injuries, lost earnings, and pain and suffering. The good news is that an experienced truck accident attorney can review your case for free and determine how to achieve the best case outcome. Even if you partially caused the crash, you still can receive compensation. Contact an experienced personal injury lawyer today for more information.

Schedule a Free Initial Consultation Today!

Thomas L. Stroble Author Image

Thomas L. Stroble


Mr. Stroble is a highly accomplished graduate of Michigan State University, with degrees in both science and law. He specializes in commercial lawsuits and personal injury cases. Licensed to practice law in Michigan and even the U.S. Supreme Court, he’s a well-qualified legal expert. Besides his career in law, he loves outdoor activities and volunteers as a part-time police officer in Birmingham.

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