Traffic Accidents involving Semi-Trucks are often very serious and leave those involved with debilitating injuries and the need for legal representation.
In addition to the increased chance of serious injury and damage caused by accident, Truck wreck lawsuits are more complicated from a legal standpoint.
One of the most common questions we receive regarding truck accidents is how do you determine who is liable for compensating the victims of the accident.
In a regular traffic incident involving two cars, the at-fault party’s insurance company is usually who is deemed responsible for compensating the victim financially.
However, in trucking accidents, there can be many different parties’s at least partially responsible for the accident.
Who are the Parties At Fault in a Semi Truck Accident?
The complexity involved in proving liability in a truck accident lawsuit is why hiring an experienced personal injury attorney is so important.
Parties who could be potentially held responsible for the crash and thus responsible for financial compensation are:
- The Driver of the Truck
- The Trucking Company (Unless the Driver was an Independent Contractor)
- Vehicle Owner or Lessor
- Company whose Goods were being shipped
- Truck Mechanic
So how do the courts determine exactly who is at fault and responsible for reimbursing the victim of the truck accident?
There are many factors that must be proven to determine who is at fault in a truck accident and the amount of fault that rests with each entity.
When it comes to Truck Accident Injury Lawsuits, personal injury attorneys will try to prove that the trucking company was responsible and owes compensation, rather than the truck driver.
Attorney's go after the trucking companies because juries tend to be more sympathetic to an individual driver than a large corporation, and the goal of a PI case is compensation, not necessarily justice.
When specifically looking to determine whether or not the Trucking company is liable for the accident, courts often look to the theory of "Respondeat Superior," meaning the employer is responsible for the employee's negligent actions if they were performing their job duties.
Determining a Truckers Culpability in the Crash
Some of the factors that are taken into consideration when determining if the employee was in the act of performing job duties at the time of the accident include:
- Time, Place, and Nature of the employee's actions
- Incidental Acts the employer should reasonably expect the employee to perform
- The Amount of time consumed in the Personal Activity
- Amount of Freedom given to the Employee to perform their duties
- The Intent of the Employee
- Type of work that the employee was hired to accomplish
Besides providing proof that the Truck driver was performing their job duties at the time of the accident, your injury attorney will also need to show that the Driver and Trucking company was in violation of a State or Federal Trucking Regulation.
If it can be determined that the Truck Driver was in violation of any State or Federal Trucking regulations when the accident occurred, their employer can be held liable.
Commonly Violated Trucking Regulations that can Affect Your Lawsuit
Two of the most commonly violated Trucking regulations are the CDL Driving Regulations and the Log Book Regulations.
The CDL (Commercial Driver's License) Regulations are in place to ensure that the Truck driver is qualified and can drive their vehicle safely.
For a person to get their Commercial Driver's license, they must pass a series of tests that involve driving the vehicle, maintenance, loading and securing the truck, and pre-trip inspection.
The Log Book regulations are a set of rules that determine how long a Truck Driver can drive before they must pull off the road and rest.
Semi-truck drivers are only allowed to drive for up to 11 hours at a time before they must pull off the road for a minimum of ten hours.
It is the driver's responsibility to keep a record of how many hours they drive/rest and when each occurs.
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If the driver failed to follow either of these regulations,
their employer could be held responsible and owe you compensation for the injuries and damages that you sustained.
As you can see, Truck accident injury cases are more complex than regular car accident lawsuits.
If you have been injured as the result of a Trucking Accident, enlisting the help of an experienced Truck accident attorney is the best way to ensure the trucking company is held responsible and you receive rightful compensation.
To receive a free consultation with an experienced Truck Accident Injury Attorney and start the process of getting financial retribution for your accident, call the Roth Firm at 770-369-9977 or click on the link below.