Auto Accident Law 101

Auto Accident Law 101

Who Do You Sue When A Commercial Truck Wrecks Your Vehicle?

Everett Cook

As the victim of an accident with a commercial truck, you are likely wondering about the legal process for recovering your damages caused by the accident. The good news is that you will be able to sue to recover the following:

  • vehicle damage
  • medical bills
  • lost wages
  • pain and suffering

The bad news is that it will take your personal injury law firm a little while to do some detective work to locate the rightful owner of the truck and the defendant in your case.

The First Step to Recover Your Damages

The first step for you personal injury lawyer is to determine who is the legal owner of the commercial truck and who is carrying a liability insurance policy on it. Unlike passenger vehicles, commercial trucks can have a variety of different liability and ownership situations, including:

  • a company owned truck
  • an owner-operated truck
  • an independent contractor leased truck

Depending on the situation of the truck that wrecked your vehicle, you may have one or more options for recovering your damages from the accident.

A Company Owned Truck

If a truck that is owned by a company and is driven by an employee of the same company, then the company's auto liability insurance will cover your damages. In this case, the driver is not personally able to be sued because they are acting on behalf of the company when they are driving.

An Owner-Operator Truck

A truck that is both owned and driven by the same person is referred to as an owner-operated truck. Owner-operators are self-employed and carry their own commercial liability policies. In this instance, the owner of the truck is the driver and the only person you can sue to recover damages.

An Independent Contractor Leased Truck

Sometimes truck drivers will lease a truck and work on various different hauling jobs as an independent contractor. In this situation, both the owner of the truck and the lessor of it are required to carry liability insurance policies. Your personal injury attorney will likely file a lawsuit to recover your damages from both the owner and the lessor of the truck.


As the victim of an accident with a commercial truck, you are entitled to recover your damages. However, the process of determining who to sue can be a bit of a challenge. If you need assistance with recovering damages from an accident with a commercial vehicle, then you should contact a personal injury law firm in your local area.


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About Me
Auto Accident Law 101

After being involved in a serious auto accident with a drunk driver, I struggled heavily with getting the driver's insurance company to open a claim. When the insurance company started pushing back, I knew I needed to do something. I spent a lot of time digging through the laws surrounding auto accident claims so that I knew what my legal rights were. I even talked with an auto accident attorney. I created this site to teach others about what I learned, including my court experience. I hope it helps you to determine how you should proceed with your auto accident case.