Given their sheer size, semi-trucks can cause an extensive amount of devastation in a split-second. Tragically, victims of these wrecks are oftentimes left with catastrophic injuries that are oftentimes disabling and life-altering. While the physical and emotional ramifications of these injuries can be devastating, the financial implications can be ruinous, too. That’s why if you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, then you need to consider taking legal action.
Who should you sue after a truck accident?
If your accident was caused by a trucker’s negligence, then you’re justified in taking legal action. You should, of course, consider filing a claim against the errant driver who caused your wreck, but you shouldn’t limit your legal action there. This is because the trucker himself probably doesn’t have the financial resources that you need to cover your losses.
You should consider also pursuing a claim against the truck company who employed the trucker. Through a legal theory known as vicarious liability, an employer can be held accountable for the negligent actions of its employees so long as the employee was on the clock and performing his or her job duties at the time of the event in question.
How truck companies defend themselves
As you pursue a claim against a truck company, though, you’ll need to be prepared to come face-to-face with aggressive defense tactics. These defenses include each of the following:
- Frolic and detour: Here, the truck company argues that it shouldn’t be liable because its employee was operating outside the scope of his employment at the time of the accident. This might be because the trucker failed to adhere to a prescribed route or because he deviated from his route for personal gain or enjoyment.
- Comparative fault: In a lot of instances, the truck company is going to try to shift the blame back on the plaintiff. Therefore, you’ll need to be prepared for your driving actions to be scrutinized as you pursue your claim. Be prepared to defend yourself in that regard.
- Third-party fault: The truck company might also try to blame other motorists who were involved in the accident. That’s why you need to make sure that you include everyone in your legal claim who may have contributed to your wreck.
How to build your case
Successfully litigating a case against a truck company isn’t easy. They’re often represented by experienced and aggressive legal teams that know how to exploit the rules of evidence and applicable statutes to their advantage.
Therefore, you need to know how to build an equally aggressive case. You’ll want to obtain police reports, talk to witnesses, gather your medical and employment records, and consider discussing the facts of your case with one or more experts who can help you prove key aspects of your case. Then, you should turn to case law and the rules of evidence to see if you can implement legal maneuvers to better position your case for success.
Do you need assistance crafting your legal strategy?
It takes a lot to build the appropriately thorough vicarious liability claim that is oftentimes needed to impose liability against and recover compensation from a truck company. But that’s why dedicated legal teams like ours stand ready to help you analyze your case and build the compelling legal arguments that you need on your side.