Much of the talk and advice that surrounds truck accidents focuses on whether the car driver or the truck driver were the ones at fault. However, sometimes a third party is the one to blame. This can take the form of a non-present third party (defective truck parts that led to the accident, for example) or one that is present at the scene, like another driver who swerves and causes the other car and truck to collide. When you have another third party at the accident site, that can really change how your claim and case proceed if you need to sue for compensation.
The Truck May Have Cameras
First, if that truck has cameras — which has become more common in the past few years to try to stop insurance and accident scams — that footage could help identify the third party involved if they took off once the accident happened. It's essential that you get a copy of the video from any cameras in and on the truck, which can be located anywhere from the interior of the cab looking forward to the sides of the doors looking at the sides of the truck. If you can locate the third party, you and your insurance company can take that person to court and show the blame for the accident lies with them.
What if That Third Party Was in Your Car?
Sometimes the third party is actually another person in your car, such as a passenger who decides to behave badly and distract you from the road. In terms of dealing with the accident between your car and the truck, then, the fault may initially lie with you simply because it was your driving that directly caused the accident, but you'd have some recourse against the person in your car who caused the accident. You could sue them (or their estate, if they died in the accident) and their insurance if you could prove that they were the real cause.
This May Severely Affect Your Options
Note that the involvement of the third party who flees the scene can really affect your options. If the accident isn't your fault or the truck driver's fault, and you can't find the person who was the real cause, you can still look at legal options against your insurance if the company doesn't want to pay out fully or if you need more compensation for injuries and care that were more extensive than initially thought. However, you may find your awards limited simply because the only companies and people involved in the accident that you could find were those who weren't at fault, and that could affect how the court sees the case.
Nothing is set in stone, however, so it's imperative that you speak with an attorney who knows how to handle truck accident cases. When someone else is involved, other than you and the truck driver, the case can become very complicated. It's not something you want to handle on your own.
For more information, contact a truck accident attorney.