Those who can be sued in a truck accident case in which you are involved include:
- The driver of the truck
- The employer or contractor of the truck driver
- A vehicle manufacturer if a motor vehicle’s failure caused the crash
- A vehicle parts manufacturer if a specific part’s failure contributed to or worsened the outcome of the crash
- A municipality if conditions within its control contributed to the crash
- Any other party that shares responsibility for the crash or its outcome
The specific circumstances of your accident may be important to determine who is liable for your losses.
Assigning Liability After a Truck Accident
You may need to prove two things to obtain compensation from the parties responsible for your accident:
- The person or entity that contributed to your accident-related losses is liable
- The actions of the liable party caused you to suffer damages
Duty of care is one standard for proving that a person is liable. A duty of care generally means that nobody shall act in a way that puts others at an unreasonable risk of suffering harm.
Your lawyer may apply this standard of “duty of care” to the parties that are somehow connected to your accident.
Actions That Could Make Parties Liable for Your Losses
The driver of the truck involved in your accident may be the most logical starting point when assessing who is responsible for your accident. Some actions that could make the truck driver responsible for your losses include:
- Being under the influence of mind-altering substances, such as drugs, which a Reuters news report asserts is common among trucking industry employees
- Driving aggressively, which may include speeding, tailgating, passing in an improper way, or taking attention from the road because of road rage
- Driving in a way that is careless, which may include failing to stay in one’s lane
- Being distracted while driving
- Failing to ensure that truck is road-safe before driving
The individual or company that employs a trucker may also share responsibility for any accident in which the truck driver is found liable. This may be the result of strict liability for one’s employees, but it could also be determined by specific actions or failures of a trucking company. Such failures may include:
- Not implementing a culture of safety and caution among truckers under the company’s watch
- Failing to consistently and earnestly test drivers for drug and alcohol use
- Failing to penalize drivers in significantly for driving errors and other infractions
- Allowing drivers to operate their vehicle beyond hours of service regulations as required by the Federal Motor Carrier’s Safety Administration (FMCSA)
A lawyer can help you determine who can be sued in the context of your truck accident, whether it is a truck driver, their employer, another party, or some combination of defendants.
Proving Liability in a Truck Accident
The process of proving liability for a truck accident may generally require your lawyer to:
1. Show that a defendant owed you a duty of care
Drivers generally have a duty of care to operate their vehicles safely, and trucking companies may have a duty of care to monitor their drivers and vehicles in a prudent fashion.
2. Prove that a defendant breached their duty of care to you
The type of breach that your lawyer attempts to prove will depend on the specific defendant that they are trying to establish as negligent.
3. Show that the breach of duty of care caused your accident, and then show that the accident caused your injuries
This stage may be referred to as causation and could be the final hurdle for you to be established as the victim of negligence.
If your lawyer can make these arguments successfully, then you may benefit by collecting compensation for your losses.
A Lawyer Will Seek the Compensation on Your Behalf
If you or a loved one is the victim of negligence by one or more people, then the losses you are suffering could lead you to pursue compensation for those losses. Some of the general outcomes of an accident may include:
- Serious injury
- Psychological trauma
- Property damage death
If you or a loved one have suffered a significant injury, then your specific losses could include:
- Medical costs to diagnose and treat your injury
- The cost of rehabilitation for your injury
- Lost income as you recover from your injury
- Reduced income that comes from recurring symptoms of your injury, which could include a permanent disability
- Psychological or emotional injury that requires one or more forms of treatment
- General pain and suffering
- Harm to your relationships
- Harm to your cognitive abilities
- A general decline in your quality of life
If your loved one died in a truck accident, then losses may include:
- Lost income for any family member who depended on your loved one
- Loss of your loved one’s comfort and companionship
- Loss of parental guidance and comfort for any children of your loved one
- Funeral expenses
- Medical expenses for your loved one
Your lawyer’s goal in bringing a lawsuit may be to obtain coverage for all the losses that have come from your accident. They may be able to do this by negotiating a settlement or winning a judgment for you or your loved one.
Call Ben Crump Law, PLLC, Today
The team at Ben Crump Law, PLLC, does not shy away from tough cases. Our goal is to make sure you do not suffer any further harm than you have already. We work on a contingency-fee-basis, so you do not pay anything out of pocket upfront. We get paid only if we win for you.
Call Ben Crump Law, PLLC, today at (800) 235-0444 for a free consultation about your case.