Who Is to Blame After a Truck Accident?
Truck accidents are far too common and the results are often tragic. Truck collisions are more likely than car accidents to cause serious injury and even fatalities because of the large size of commercial trucks. When these accidents occur, it’s often motorists in other vehicles, pedestrians, or bicyclists who are hurt because they or their vehicles cannot withstand the impact from a truck crash.
Victims of truck accidents need to get legal help from a Miami injury lawyer so they can understand their rights following a crash. Victims may be entitled to receive compensation for serious injuries, while family members of those killed in truck accidents may be entitled to wrongful death damages. It’s important for those who wish to pursue a damage claim to understand who can be held responsible for causing harm since the truck driver may not be the only one to make a claim against.
Who Can Be Held Legally Responsible for a Truck Accident?
In most car accident claims where victims pursue compensation, they make claims against a negligent or careless driver who caused a crash to occur. In truck accident claims, victims can make a case against a trucker if they can prove the truck driver violated the rules of the road or failed to behave in a responsible manner when operating his vehicle.
Drivers, however, may not always have enough money or insurance coverage to pay for the full extent of the loss caused by serious truck accident injuries or caused by truck crash fatalities. In most cases, the good news for victims is that they can often sue the trucking company too. Trucking companies are typically required to have anywhere from $750,000 to $5 million in insurance coverage under federal laws that aim to protect victims. If the truck was transporting hazardous material, the trucking company will be obligated to have insurance coverage on the higher end of this scale.
Since trucking companies have more insurance available to pay for damages, victims should talk with an experienced attorney about whether they have grounds to pursue a claim against the trucking company. A trucking company could be held accountable for the crash on the basis either of its own negligence or based on the negligence of the driver who the company was employing.
Employees are considered to be agents acting on behalf of their employers when carrying out work duties, so if a truck driver on-the-job is negligent in his actions, agency rules can provide justification for holding the trucking company accountable. Because the truck driver acts on the employer’s behalf, the driver is the employer’s agent and everything the driver does within the scope of his job is the equivalent of the employer taking the action. The negligence of the driver thus makes the trucking company liable for losses.
Trucking companies could also be negligent in their own right if, for example, they failed to screen drivers they hired or pressured drivers to violate safety rules and drive more hours than they should.
A Miami injury lawyer can provide representation to those harmed in truck crashes and can help victims and their families to determine if the trucking company should be held accountable for the losses in their particular case. Give us a call today to find out more.