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In A Trucking Crash, There Are Layers of Liability They Don’t Want You To Know About

Posted on Wednesday, June 5th, 2019

You’ve just gotten in a crash. But this is not a regular crash, it’s a trucking crash. Your car and an 80-ton tractor-trailer just collided. Luckily, it wasn’t fatal (as many semi-truck crashes are, because of their substantially larger size and weight.) Your car is totaled, your medical expenses are already through the roof, and you don’t know where to turn.

Many times, large insurance carriers try to get the injured party to accept a settlement that doesn’t even come close to covering their injuries or losses.

Trucking Crashes Need to Be Handled Differently Than Car Crashes

Coker Law attorney Stefano Portigliatti is one of only 20 attorneys in the United States to pass a rigorous exam on trucking laws, an intensive background check and prove that his practice is dedicated to protecting victims of truck crashes. This is so important because handling a case involving a truck crash is extremely different than a regular car crash. More often than not, inexperienced attorneys handle the trucking cases similarly to how they would a simple car wreck, and overlook insurance policies that could provide millions of dollars in coverage for the victim.

Our trucking crash attorneys understand the commercial trucking industry, its interstate regulations, the industry standards and the required safety equipment. We even have our own in-house investigator who can respond to the scene of a crash immediately and knows how to dig underneath the surface to uncover what happened and who is involved.

Liability Doesn’t End at the Truck Driver

Portigliatti says its critical to thoroughly investigate all possible liable parties to receive the best possible recoveries for our clients. “We look at the truck driver, trucking company, tractor-trailer owner, broker, shipper, maintenance shop, loading warehouse, manufacturer of a defective component, or any other individuals or organizations responsible for a road hazard that contributed to the crash,” explains Portigliatti.

To find the other liable parties besides the driver and their insurance, a careful analysis of the entire transportation cycle needs to be completed. The transportation cycle involves shippers, brokers, motor carriers, equipment owners, and sometimes even a purchaser that may have had a say on who would transport the load.

Additionally, some companies use third parties to perform some of the responsibilities that trucking companies have, and these third parties may also bear some fault for causing the crash.

Investigating the Transportation Cycle

For example, you’re driving down the road in Miami when a semi-truck cuts across multiple lanes of oncoming traffic and collides with you. The truck is owned by Trucks R Us and driven by Andy, a driver for Fast & Furious Trucking. The crash report only identifies the driver and owner of the truck. There is only a $300,000 policy for an intrastate mover with one truck. $300,000 won’t cover your lifetime of medical expenses and the damages.

Fortunately, your Coker Law attorney saw a logo on the truck that says Furniture Co. on the truck, so he investigates to see if it was really just the one moving truck that is liable and at fault. 

In this graphic Portigliatti walks us through the multiple parties that are involved in the shipment of Furniture Co.’s furniture to the customer.

There are many possible outcomes for different liability claims after discovering the full transportation cycle and the money trail. From Furniture Co. to Fast & Furious Trucking, each party is being paid a share of the transportation cost. By looking into the collective communication, dispatch, accounting and load records, Portigliatti says he and the trucking team at Coker Law will work to uncover each aspect of the transportation cycle to ensure all liable parties are held accountable.

Stefano Portigliatti - Coker Law - Dangers of the I-4 CorridorPortigliatti and the trucking team at Coker Law have successfully represented hundreds of individuals who have suffered injuries, and families that have suffered the loss of a loved one due to a trucking crash.

Coker Law has the resources, investigators and experience to take a trucking case to trial and maximize the financial compensation for our clients. 

Do You Need Help?

Coker Law cautions drivers to drive carefully. If you are injured by a negligent driver, speak with an experienced trucking crash attorney. You may qualify to receive compensation for your medical bills, lost wages and other expenses related to your injuries. To speak with a trucking crash attorney or for more information, call (904) 356-6071, or click here to schedule a free consultation.