Do You Sue the Truck Driver or Truck Company after a Crash?
Accidents involving large commercial trucks often cause more damage than crashes with personal vehicles. Collisions with large trucks can also be more complex in the legal sense. In a crash with another driver, you’d typically file an insurance claim, which their insurance provider would handle.
But crashes with commercial vehicles can be challenging. Identifying the liable party is critical, so understanding where to start is essential. Learn more about whom you can sue after a crash with a commercial truck driver.
Who Do You Sue When a Large Truck Has Hits You?
After a crash with a large truck, identifying the liable party could be tricky. Several parties could be responsible, but the driver’s employment status plays a large part in knowing whom to bring a claim against.
Drivers can either be employed by commercial carrier groups, or they might be considered independent contractors.
Companies often hire independent contractors to make deliveries for them. These truck drivers are not considered employees of the company. They can be paid by distance or payload. The contractor will oversee their vehicle’s maintenance, operational costs, and insurance. In a crash with an independent contractor, you might have to limit a claim to them instead of the company that hired them.
A trucking company will share more liability if the driver is their employee.
When Can You Sue a Driver?
In most instances, when a driver causes a crash, you can sue them, especially for any negligent or reckless behavior. Several factors could be considered in a collision, some outside the driver’s control. But if they were responsible for the crash, you can seek damages from them.
Some instances of driver negligence include:
- Driving under the influence
- Driving while drowsy
- Distracted driving
- Driving recklessly
- Ignoring state or federal regulations
- Ignoring traffic laws
Suppose a driver made a left turn when you had the right-of-way. If a crash ensued, you would have grounds to pursue a lawsuit against the driver: they ignored traffic laws, and you were injured.
When Can You Sue a Trucking Company or Driver’s Employer?
Suing a company or employer can be different than bringing a claim against just the driver. Companies may not be present during the crash, but they could have acted recklessly when hiring their employee.
Employers are also responsible for training all their workers or introducing policies their employees must follow. If a company neglects to train its workers correctly and those workers cause a crash, the company could be at fault.
You can also sue a trucking company if:
- They didn’t properly screen their employees
- They hired a driver with a history of driving offenses
- They didn’t ensure the truck was in a safe condition to drive
- They pressured the driver to break state or federal law to continue driving
- They violate guidelines set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)
Damages Available after a Texas Truck Crash
According to Texas personal injury laws, you can pursue compensation for your losses, injuries, and damages after a crash with a large commercial vehicle. You can pursue claims for your economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are the out-of-pocket losses you experience after an injury. That includes things like medical costs, lost wages, or property damage.
Non-economic damages are conceptual. Non-economic damages include pain and suffering, loss of consortium, or reduced quality of life. They can be difficult to calculate, but a personal injury attorney can help you total your losses.
Can Anything Diminish Your Claim?
Texas observes comparative negligence, meaning your proportionate liability for a crash can impact the payout in a large truck accident insurance claim. The more you share fault for a crash, the less you can receive in an insurance claim.
For instance, suppose you were speeding when a truck driver decided to turn left in front of you. Although you had the right of way, the truck driver could argue your damages wouldn’t be as severe if you weren’t driving so fast. A court may decide you are partially at fault for the crash and limit the compensation you can receive.
For example, if you were awarded $100,000 in a crash, and the court rules you were 20% responsible for the crash, you would receive $80,000. You cannot pursue a claim if you are more than 50% responsible for the crash.
Why Work with a Personal Injury Lawyer?
Truck accident cases are typically more complex than other crash incidents. There are usually more damages to account for, and liability could be spread amongst several parties. Working with a knowledgeable Texas personal injury lawyer can improve your chance of a successful claim.
Your attorney will be able to investigate your case thoroughly to determine who is at fault for your damages. They can find eyewitnesses, reports, and other documentation to support your claim. Trucking companies should keep records; your lawyer can prevent them from destroying them. Your lawyer will also help you calculate your losses accurately.
Injured in a Truck Accident? Contact the Law Giant
Truck accidents can be more deadly and dangerous than crashes with other passenger vehicles. You need representation that can stand up to trucking companies. At the Begum Law Group Injury Lawyers, the Law Giant is here to help. We’ll investigate your claim and build a case to help you create a strong claim against those responsible for your losses – whether that means the truck driver, the company that employed them, or another negligent party.