Understanding Trucking Company Negligence and How It Impacts You
As a driver, you know you’re out on the roads and highways with big trucks. These commercial vehicles, which some drivers call eighteen-wheelers, can roam from state to state and even coast to coast. They might contain just about anything, from clothing to produce to electronics.
Truck drivers must exercise caution. If they make a mistake, they can run you right off the road. They’re driving vehicles so much larger than regular cars.
Understanding a trucking company’s role in accidents becomes crucial in some instances. If you’re sure a commercial truck caused your accident, you must hire a lawyer and go after the trucker and sometimes the company as well.
We’ll discuss that in detail right now.
When You Can Sue the Truck Driver
Let’s describe a hypothetical scenario for a moment. You’re driving on the highway, and you’re in the slow lane. There’s a commercial truck beside you in the fast lane.
The truck driver drifts out of that lane and hits your car. The crash causes injuries and damages your vehicle as well.
You would hope that if this happens, the truck driver’s insurance can cover your medical bills and the vehicle repair costs. What if you feel that the truck driver acted egregiously, though?
Maybe you feel they caused the wreck after drinking, or perhaps they ingested drugs, and that’s why they caused the crash. Maybe they fell asleep at the wheel because they didn’t take the required rest stops that the law demands.
If you can prove any of that, you can sue the driver. You might get money you can use that covers your pain and suffering following the crash. You may also need that cash because you can’t work for a time following the accident.
It’s fairly obvious in this situation that you can sue the driver. What about instances where you can sue the trucking company as well, though?
A Commercial Trucking Company’s Responsibilities
With commercial trucking companies, each driver has responsibilities. However, the trucking company does as well. If you think the trucking company did something inappropriate or illegal, you can probably sue them in the situation we have just described.
Maybe you think that the driver did not cause the crash through negligence. Instead, you believe that a mechanical failure caused the truck’s erratic motion. If the company didn’t maintain the truck correctly, the driver wouldn’t have lost control.
Trucking companies must maintain their vehicles. That’s the law, and if a company cuts corners in this area, you can definitely sue them.
What Other Times Might You Sue a Trucking Company?
You might also have a situation where you sue the trucking company because you find out that the dispatcher didn’t let the truck driver take a scheduled break. Truck drivers must take scheduled breaks under the law. They can’t drive for days on end with caffeinated drinks or pills keeping them awake.
Perhaps the dispatcher knows the company faces some tight deadlines. They insist that the trucker keep driving all night rather than pulling over and resting.
If this happens, and then the driver falls asleep at the wheel and strikes your car, you can bring legal action against the trucking company. They created the unsafe condition that caused your injuries and your vehicle damage.
You Must Prove These Allegations
You might suspect these things, but you can’t necessarily prove them. If you hire the right lawyer, though, they can investigate the trucking company and driver.
They can ask the driver questions on the witness stand if a trial ever occurs. They can also look into the maintenance records that indicate whether the trucking company maintained that truck correctly.
The right law firm knows all about the commercial trucking industry and what rules and regulations the companies must follow. If they see any violations when they are investigating the crash, they will question the trucking company’s owner and the driver on the witness stand. If they admit they did something wrong, then you’ll likely collect some money.
Maybe the truck driver or the company’s owner will decide they should settle if the trial goes against them. You can get the money you need, and your lawyer will get some of it as well.
If the trial continues and you get a verdict in your favor, you might collect even more money. You must make sure you hire a lawyer who knows about the commercial trucking industry and its rules and regulations.