A truck accident can leave you with extensive damages, ranging from physical disability to emotional turmoil and financial devastation. You don’t deserve to be debilitated by those losses, which is why you need to stand up and fight for the outcome that is right for you.
To achieve the best outcome possible, though, you need to be prepared to take legal action against both the trucker who caused your accident and his or her employer. But suing a truck company is no easy task, which is why you should thoroughly assess every legal avenue open to you.
Ways to hold truck companies accountable
Fortunately, there are a lot of ways to go about imposing liability on a truck company. Let’s look at just a few of them:
- Simple vicarious liability: In a standard truck accident case, you can try to hold a truck company liable simply because the trucker who acted negligently and caused the accident was performing his or her job duties at the time. This is because under the legal theory of vicarious liability, employers can be held accountable for their employees’ actions. In order to succeed here, you’ll have to show that the trucker was, in fact, on the clock and performing something of benefit for the employer. The truck company may try to argue that the trucker was operating outside the scope of his or her employment at the time of the accident, so be prepared for that argument.
- Improper inspections: To ensure truck safety, drivers and their employers are required to conduct routine inspections. Truckers must inspect their rigs after every trip and send a report to their employer, and the employer is required to remedy any identified defects before allowing the truck back on the road. In addition to these post-trip inspections, truck companies are required to have annual inspections conducted on their trucks to assess all systems, from braking and steering to lighting and suspension.
- Failed cargo securement: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has strict regulations in place to ensure that cargo is properly secured on trucks before taking to the road. The number of tie downs required, for example, depends on the length and weight of the cargo being secured, and failing to abide by those specified regulations could lead to cargo falling off a big rig and striking a passenger vehicle. A police report, witness testimony, and even trucking logs may be able to help you determine if there was an error in cargo securement.
- Improper training: If a truck company failed to provide adequate safety training for truckers, then they may be held liable. Here, you’ll want to assess the company’s policies and practices, as well as the employee’s employment records to ensure that he or she was provided with that training.
Don’t let truck companies push you around
Far too often truck companies try to push victims into settlements that are far less than those victims deserve. Don’t let that happen to you. Instead, be diligent in analyzing your case to determine the best legal arguments that you can make and to determine the full extent of your damages. Only then can you enter the negotiation process will a full understanding of where you case stands, your likelihood of success at trial, and the appropriateness of a settlement offer. We know that this isn’t an easy endeavor to undertake, especially when you’re trying to recover from your injuries, but that’s why skilled legal teams like ours stand ready to help you fight for what you deserve.