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How is a Trucking Company Liable for Its Drivers’ Actions?

On Behalf of | Mar 10, 2015 | personal injury |

A trucking company is one that owns many commercial trucks and delivers goods across the country. These trucks are driven by qualified drivers. The drives can either be long haul or short haul drives. Normally, the driver delivers the goods on their route without a hitch. However, sometimes the driver can be involved in an accident. This can be caused by the truck driver, another motorist or mechanical problems with the truck that he or she is driving. In case a motorist is involved in an accident with a cargo truck, it is important that they know who to sue. This can be the driver or the trucking company. Some accidents are caused by the driver’s actions and others are caused by the negligence of the trucking company. The victims of such accidents can get compensation by filing court cases through truck accident lawyers.

Who is liable for the accident, the driver or the company?

Sometimes, the truck drivers are liable for the accidents. For example, the drivers might not check the traffic lights properly and cause accidents. Moreover, they may change lanes without properly checking the vehicles behind them. By doing so they can cause an accident. In such a case, the driver can be sued for negligence. In other cases, the company can be liable for the accident. This is in cases where they make errors in policy and this causes the accidents. For example, the company can over-schedule the driver. This causes the drivers to exceed the hours they should work. Over time, the truck driver can get fatigued and cause accidents. According to Federal Law, if the company’s logo or name is on the side of the truck that caused the accident then the company is tied to that truck and its driver as well as the accident itself.

Defenses that a trucking company can use to escape prosecution

Despite the overbearing law, the trucking company will use various defenses to ensure that it is not sued and prosecuted. The company can claim that the driver of the truck is an independent driver who is contracted to drive it. As such, this driver is not an employee of the company. The company can also claim that the truck is not actually owned by the company and therefore the company is not liable to inspect it for malfunctions. In addition to that, the company in its defense can claim that the cargo in the truck did not belong to it. This is in the case where the accident results in the spilling of hazardous materials and injury. All these defenses are not justification enough and the company is still liable for the accidents.

How to file a personal injury claim

If you are the victim of a truck accident, then you can sue the trucking company or its driver for damages incurred. This is known as filing a personal injury claim. It is best that you hire truck accident lawyers to file it for you. They will dedicate their skills and expertise to ensuring that you get compensation for your injuries as well as any damages incurred.


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