True Virginia Trial Attorneys Ready To Fight For You.

When is a truck company liable for a truck accident?

On Behalf of | Sep 8, 2023 | Truck Accidents

The physical and emotional cost of your truck accident can be overwhelming. You might be left with limited mobility, disfigurement, and trauma that impacts your mental health on a daily basis. But on top of all of that, the financial implications of your truck accident can leave you on uncertain footing for years, perhaps even decades to come.

Knowing that, you need to find the best avenue to recover your losses. For most truck accident victims, this means filing a personal injury claim against both the negligent trucker who caused their wreck and the truck company who hired them. After all, if you can succeed on a claim against a truck company, then you might be able to access a bigger pool of money.

But how can you tell if a truck company is liable for your accident?

Truck companies aren’t always liable for truck accidents. Therefore, before taking action against one of these companies, you need to assess the facts of your case to see if any of the following characteristics are present. If they are, then you might be in a stronger position to impose liability on a truck company:

  • The trucker who caused the accident was employed by the truck company: Drawing a direct link from the errant trucker to the truck company will strengthen your claim for damages against the truck company. However, in most instances, the trucker must’ve been an employee of the truck company in order to pursue compensation from the truck company when the accident was caused by a negligent trucker and the truck company otherwise hasn’t done anything wrong. If the trucker was operating as an independent contractor, then it’ll be much more difficult for you to tie your claim back to the truck company.
  • The trucker was performing assigned job duties: In order for vicarious liability to apply in a case where the accident was caused by the trucker, thereby allowing you to reach the truck company, you’ll have to demonstrate that the trucker was performing their job duties at the time of the accident. If they weren’t, then the truck company will likely argue that the trucker was engaged in frolic or detour, thus shielding the truck company from liability.
  • Negligent hiring: Instead of pursuing vicarious liability, whereby you try to hold an employer liable for the actions of its employee, you might be able to show that the truck company itself was negligent, and that negligence caused your accident. One way to do this is to show that the truck company hired unsafe drivers, such as those with a history of traffic violations.
  • Improper inspection and maintenance: A truck company might also be found negligent if they failed to abide by applicable regulations as they pertain to routine inspections and maintenance. Failures here can lead to dangerous trucks on the road, putting you at risk.
  • Failing to discipline drivers: Truckers have to adhere to federal trucking rules and regulations aimed at ensuring safety. If a truck company fails to discipline those truckers it knows to be violating these rules and regulations, then you might be able to hold them accountable when their actions lead to your accident.

Fight for the compensation you deserve in your truck accident case

If you want to recover compensation for the true extent of your damages, then you need to be prepared to aggressively pursue every legal avenue available to you. You’ll thus need to gather physical evidence and witness accounts that speak to direct negligence and vicarious liability, being sure to use experts to support your case when and where you can.

With well-thought-out legal arguments founded on this evidence, you could obtain the outcome that you need to speed your recovery and move on to the next chapter of your life.