Truck accidents are often much more complex than a private vehicle accident – there are corporate entities involved, focused on shielding themselves from liability while maximizing profits. As a result, pursuing a truck accident claim can be extraordinarily difficult for non-lawyers, and you could lose your rights as a result of a simple mistake.
At The Krist Law Firm, we believe truck drivers and trucking companies should be held accountable for their negligence. We work with injured people in the Houston area because we know how difficult it can be to pursue your claim on your own. We can help you get the compensation you deserve.
Should You Sue the Truck Driver?
Every driver on the road owes a duty to their fellow drivers to operate their vehicles safely. Negligence occurs when someone fails to exercise reasonable care while driving, thereby breaching that duty.
If you’ve been injured as a result of an accident caused by another driver’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. Just like any other accident, if the driver was negligent and caused your accident, you may want to consider suing the driver.
Here are some common examples of negligence that cause truck accidents:
- Improper lane changes
- Distracted driving
- Driving while drowsy
Vicarious Liability in Truck Accidents
In the context of a truck accident, the question of liability is more complex. Because the truck driver is likely employed by a large company, you may also hold the trucking company liable. The law enables injured parties to hold principals liable for the actions of their agents. In other words, the trucking company may be held liable for the actions of its driver.
To establish vicarious liability, however, you have to prove that the driver caused your injury in the course of their employment. For example, if the driver was driving a company truck and making a delivery, the trucking company may be held liable, even if the driver’s negligence caused the accident.
Of course, there are exceptions to this rule. For example, the trucking company cannot be held liable if the driver was supposed to be off the clock or was driving for personal reasons. In addition, the trucking company may not be held liable for any intentional or criminal acts committed by the driver. For example, the trucking company may be able to avoid liability in the following situations:
- The accident was caused when the driver lost consciousness due to a health condition they concealed from their employer.
- The driver was drunk at the time the accident occurred, despite company efforts to ensure that their drivers are sober while behind the wheel.
- The driver intentionally caused the accident in a fit of road rage.
When the Trucking Company May Be Solely Liable
Trucking companies are subject to state and federal regulations that govern how they operate. The trucking company is responsible for ensuring that it’s drivers are properly trained and certified, that the trucks are regularly maintained, and that the trucks are not carrying excessive weight. If the accident was caused due to a failure to comply with state or federal regulations. The trucking company may be solely liable for your injuries.
You May Need to Sue Both the Driver and the Trucking Company
In many truck accidents, there may be several overlapping failures – the driver was speeding, but the company failed to adequately maintain the truck and the brakes failed. As you might imagine, neither the driver nor the trucking company will be eager to admit it was their fault. As a result, you will likely have to sue both parties and let them explain why they should be dismissed from the suit.
Contact a Houston Truck Accident Lawyer
Ultimately, liability will turn on the specific facts of your case, and those facts may not become clear until you are well into pursuing your claim. An experienced truck accident lawyer will be able to identify who you should pursue and how to pursue your claim for the best chance of success.
If you’ve been injured in an accident, the truck accident attorneys at The Krist Law Firm can help you get the compensation you deserve. Don’t let your accident jeopardize your future – call us at (281) 283-8500 or send us an email to schedule a free consultation today.