Big truck accidents happen at an alarming frequency on American roadways, and for drivers who are injured, there are many questions for how to move forward. It is not just one driver that you are dealing with – truckers are contracted out by trucking companies. One or both may be bonded and insured, and when the truck driver is at fault for your accident this can have major implications for any trucking accident lawsuit that you may file.
When it comes to establishing fault, there are a number of conditions that would lead to the trucking company being liable for the accident, not just the driver. Therefore, it would be possible to sue the company to recover damages. This article will cover this, and a series of other issues, in order to inform you of the possible path forward with your lawsuit against a trucking company.
Establishing Liability for the Trucking Company
Truck drivers are contracted employees, and through that, are representatives of the company. This, by extension, means that the company is responsible for their employee’s actions. One of the things that you will have to prove is that the driver’s negligence should be shared with the company itself. Negligence essentially means a harmful act that could have been avoided if reasonable actions were taken to prevent an incident like a vehicle accident. Some examples of negligent behavior include
- Driving under the influence (stimulants are commonly used by truck drivers and can lead to impairments)
- Texting and driving, or use of another electronic device while driving
- Drowsy driving
- Aggressive driving
- Following too closely
- Illegal turns
- Ignoring signs and/or signals
There are many reasons why these causes are so common. Trucking culture prioritizes delivery times, and truck drivers can be placed under enormous pressure by their companies to arrive on time. Speeding, the use of stimulants, and other unsafe behaviors may be encouraged by the company. If you are able to show a direct line from the company’s unsafe policy to the accident, then a trucking and car accident attorney will be closer to assigning negligence on the proper parties.
Grounds for a Lawsuit Against the Company: Injuries and Damages
Because semi-trucks are so much larger and heavier than regular vehicles, the injuries that can happen during these collisions can often be catastrophic or even result in traumatic brain injuries. In order to make a case against a trucking company, you or someone you love should have one of the following serious injuries:
- An injury that makes daily life difficult for longer than 90 days
- Limitation of a bodily organ or member
- Limitation of a bodily function or system
- Loss of an organ, member, function, or system
- Loss of a fetus
- Significant disfigurement
Damages, meaning the money awarded to an individual when another person or organization has been found in breach of duty, can be considerable in big trucking company lawsuits. Looking at the possible list of injuries that one could face, we can easily imagine the medical costs. Damages can help you recoup present and future medical costs, as well as
- Lost wages
- Reduced earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Loss of consortium (death of a loved one)
- Funeral costs
You can also receive damages if your quality of life has changed: things like hobbies, lifestyle, and relationships. Lives are often permanently altered by these accidents, and a lawsuit to recover damages takes that into account.
The best thing you can do for yourself is hire an accident attorney who can aid in your investigation into the company’s negligent contribution to the accident. They will have the resources on hand to discover if the company has a history of negligent actions and can estimate the number of damages that would be appropriate for your case.
Attorney Steven A. Harris regularly blogs in the areas of family law, bankruptcy, and real estate closings on this website. He is always available in any of the firm’s offices or by phone anytime for a consultation. Mr. Harris tries to provide informative information to the public in easily digestible formats. Hopefully you enjoyed this article and feel free to supply any feedback. We appreciate our readers and love to hear from you!