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Suing a truck driver or trucking company after an accident

On Behalf of | Jul 3, 2024 | Truck and Semi-Truck Accidents

Encountering an accident with an 18-wheeler truck is one of the most intimidating experiences possible on the road. Due to the size disparity between a passenger vehicle and a commercial truck, the injuries that those in a smaller vehicle may sustain in such an accident can be devasting.

In the aftermath of a collision like this, you may wonder whether to sue the driver or the trucking company they work for. Who will be held responsible for your lost wages, vehicle damage and medical expenses hinges on the unique circumstances of the accident as well as the driver’s employment status.

Truck driver negligence

You may sue the truck driver if their negligence directly led to the accident that damaged your vehicle and caused your injuries. For example, if the truck driver was eating behind the wheel, making a phone call or texting at the time of the accident, you can hold them responsible for damages you sustained from the accident.

The truck driver is also responsible for the accident if their impairment slows down their reaction time, resulting in the accident. A driver’s judgment can be impaired by fatigue or from using drugs or alcohol while they’re behind the wheel.

Speeding is another cause of trucking accidents because commercial vehicles have a long stopping distance. If the truck driver caused the accident because they were exceeding the stipulated speed limit at the time of the accident, you can hold them responsible for your damages. The same goes for reckless driving behavior like:

·       Tailgating

·       Recklessly changing lanes

·       Disobeying traffic signals

When you sue a truck driver following an accident, their personal insurance coverage should compensate you for your damages.

Trucking company liability

The trucking company where the truck driver is an employee can also be responsible for your injuries if they neglect routine vehicle maintenance. Suppose the vehicle’s mechanical failure is what resulted in the accident; the company should reimburse you for your out-of-pocket expenses.

You can also sue the trucking company if they incentivize their drivers to violate Hours of Service regulations. This may be applicable if the trucking accident happened because the truck driver was dozing off at the wheel. After all, they had exceeded the recommended working hours with the company’s go-ahead.

Determining who to sue for your injuries following a truck accident requires careful consideration of the specific circumstances of your case. Consulting with a knowledgeable legal team can help you establish liability and help ensure that you pursue the appropriate party for maximum compensation.