Trucking companies play a vital role in our economy, transporting goods across the country. However, when these companies act negligently, they can cause severe accidents that result in injuries, property damage, and even fatalities. In this article, we will explore the legal process for holding negligent trucking companies accountable, define key terms, and outline actionable steps you can take to protect yourself and seek justice if you become a victim of trucking company negligence.
Key Terms Explained
Negligence: The failure to exercise the care that a reasonably prudent person would exercise in similar circumstances, leading to harm or damage.
Liability: Legal responsibility for one’s actions or inactions, which can result in financial compensation to the injured party.
Plaintiff: The person who brings a lawsuit against another party, such as a trucking company.
Defendant: The party being sued, in this case, the trucking company.
Damages: Monetary compensation awarded to a plaintiff in a civil lawsuit.
Common Types of Trucking Company Negligence
Inadequate Driver Training: When trucking companies fail to provide proper training to their drivers, it can lead to accidents caused by driver error.
Negligent Hiring: Hiring drivers with a history of traffic violations or substance abuse, which can increase the risk of accidents.
Poor Vehicle Maintenance: Failing to maintain trucks in good working condition, resulting in mechanical failures that contribute to accidents.
Overloading: Loading trucks beyond their capacity, which can make them difficult to control and more likely to cause accidents.
Hours of Service Violations: Encouraging or allowing drivers to exceed the legally allowed hours of service, which can lead to fatigue-related accidents.
Adverse Consequences of Trucking Company Negligence
When trucking companies act negligently, they put everyone on the road at risk. The consequences of their actions can include:
Injuries: Injuries sustained in truck accidents can range from minor cuts and bruises to life-altering conditions like spinal cord damage or traumatic brain injury.
Property Damage: Truck accidents often result in significant property damage, including totaled vehicles and damaged infrastructure.
Fatalities: Due to the size and weight of commercial trucks, accidents involving them are more likely to result in fatalities than other types of motor vehicle accidents.
Examples of Successful Lawsuits
There have been numerous lawsuits where victims have successfully sought compensation from negligent trucking companies. Here are two examples:
- In 2016, a jury awarded $42 million to a couple who suffered severe injuries after a truck driver fell asleep at the wheel and crashed into their car. The lawsuit alleged that the trucking company failed to ensure the driver had sufficient rest before starting his shift.
- In 2014, a family was awarded $90 million after their son was killed in a truck accident caused by a driver who had previously been cited for hours of service violations. The lawsuit claimed that the trucking company was negligent in retaining the driver despite his history of violations.
Actionable Steps to Protect Yourself and Seek Justice
If you want to protect yourself from trucking company negligence and seek justice if you become a victim, follow these steps:
Stay Informed: Learn about trucking regulations and safety standards to better understand the responsibilities of trucking companies and their drivers.
Document Evidence: If you’re involved in a truck accident in Anniston or anywhere else in Alabama, gather as much evidence as possible, including photographs, eyewitness accounts, and police reports.
Seek Medical Attention: Obtain prompt medical treatment for any injuries sustained in the accident, and keep detailed records of your medical expenses and treatment.
Consult an Attorney: Speak to an experienced truck accident attorney who can help you navigate the legal process and determine if you have a viable case against the trucking company.
File a Lawsuit: If your personal injury attorney advises that you have a strong case, they will help you file a lawsuit against the negligent trucking company to seek compensation for your damages.
In conclusion, holding negligent trucking companies accountable for their actions is crucial in ensuring the safety of our roads and providing justice to victims. By understanding the legal concepts involved and taking proactive steps to protect yourself, you can play a part in making our roads safer and holding these companies responsible for their negligence.
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!