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Recovering Damages From More Than One Defendant in a South Dakota Truck Accident

On Behalf of | Aug 8, 2022 | Truck Accidents

If you were involved in an accident with a commercial truck, your injuries could be severe due to the size and weight differences between a passenger car and a tractor-trailer. If you can prove the trucker caused your wreck by failing to exercise reasonable care on the road, you can file a claim with the trucker’s insurance company for both economic (medical bills, property damage, and lost income) and non-economic (pain and suffering, as well as psychological trauma) damages. There is no cap on damages in a truck accident claim, so a truck accident attorney can investigate your crash thoroughly to identify multiple defendants and help you seek the best possible award.

Other Potentially Liable Parties

If you sustain a spinal cord injury (SCI) or traumatic brain injury (TBI), both of which often result from truck accidents, your damages could exceed the coverage limits of the trucker’s policy. This does not mean that you’re out of luck. There are other parties who might be liable in a truck crash case, including:

  • Trucking company. The trucker’s employer can be held liable if, for example, the trucker was urged to drive more than the permitted number of hours in a row without rest. If the company failed to conduct regular inspections and perform required maintenance to keep the truck in safe working condition, it could also be found responsible for your damages. Trucking companies must carry $750,000 in liability insurance, so the company has a much “deeper pocket” than the trucker does.
  • Truck or parts manufacturer. If your wreck was due to faulty steering, brakes, or other equipment, the truck manufacturer or a parts manufacturer, both of which have sigificant resources, might be partially liable.

Negligent mechanics or cargo-loading personnel could also be partly responsible for your wreck if the truck was improperly serviced or loaded.

What Is Comparative Fault in South Dakota?

South Dakota follows a modified comparative fault rule in personal injury cases. If you’re found partially responsible for your own accident, you may still recover damages as long as your fault is slight. Because there is no strict legal definition of “slight” in this case, it’s up to your lawyer to convince the insurer or the court that your percentage of fault in the crash was minimal, so you can get fair compensation for your damages.

Have You Been Injured in a South Dakota Truck Accident?

An experienced truck accident attorney can help you identify all liable parties to seek a fair recovery. Contact us online or call us at 605-644-5003 to schedule a free consultation. You pay no attorney fees until we win your case.