According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the number of trucking accidents has increased significantly over the last two decades. While trucks cause a small percentage of all car accidents, they tend to cause more harm than other vehicles due to their weight and size. Because of this, the damages in these accidents can be very costly. Trucking companies will do anything they can to avoid being stuck with the bills.
When you file a claim against a trucking company, the chances of receiving compensation are high. This is because they are likely to have more assets and more insurance coverage than a driver. Generally, when a truck is involved in an accident, a company is likely to take any and all actions possible to avoid liability. Here are some of the tactics they may employ to dodge liability:
Denying Employment of a Driver
If it is established that an auto accident occurred due to an employee’s negligence, the law requires their employer to pay the damages. This may happen even if the trucking company was not negligent in any way. The court only needs proof that the negligent driver was an employee of an organization and that they caused the injuries while undertaking official duties.
Since the drivers are undoubtedly working while driving, this automatically places the liability on the trucking companies. In some cases, they may try to avoid the potential liability by claiming that the driver was an independent contractor and not one of their workers.
Although a significant percentage of trucking drivers are independent contractors, some are employees of a company. If an organization claims the driver is an independent contractor, the court uses a specific procedure to determine their employment status.
Blaming Other Parties
Other than drivers and their employers, many other parties may be liable for the damages after an accident. For example, failure to safely load the rig can cause accidents. A trucking company may point fingers at a cargo loading company, the drivers of the other vehicles that were involved, third-party maintenance firms, and manufacturers.
Proving negligence in these cases necessitates hiring a law firm that can conduct investigations and establish the actual cause of the accident. Also, legal professionals will gather adequate evidence to determine whether the driver or trucking company should be held liable for the incident.
Denying the Accident Caused Injuries
In some cases, a company may admit its driver’s negligence caused a crash but claim it didn’t cause the victim’s injuries. Usually, it may argue that a plaintiff was already injured before a collision and is trying to seek compensation wrongfully.
For a victim to get compensation after an accident, they must prove the following elements of negligence:
• The other parties owed them a duty of care
• The parties breached the duty
• The breach resulted in the injuries
An experienced attorney can use medical records to prove that a driver’s negligence led to the injuries.
How Liability Is Determined After Trucking Accident
Several laws govern the trucking sector. The legal provisions outline the standards and conditions that drivers and companies must meet and often help determine liability among the parties involved. All states have a department of transportation that sets trucking regulations in the area.
Truck accident investigations are thorough processes. Understanding how a crash occurred can help to determine the possible causes and who is liable. Insurance providers, legal experts, and investigative agencies evaluate all the possible factors to make the final determination. There are several considerations when trying to determine liability.
One of the most important factors is the element of negligence. For example, the court will evaluate the possibility of reckless driving or human errors. A driver may be liable for the injuries incurred for driving under the influence. Another consideration when determining liability is the hiring procedures of a trucking company. Some of them hire drivers without the required qualifications. If you have any questions about your auto crash please call David Polow for a free consultation.
Determining Liability in a Truck Accident