Negligent Companies Are Liable for Truck Accidents
Truck accidents on the roads and highways are common in America, but one troubling trend is the increase in crashes caused by trucking company drivers. Nearly 5,000 fatal crashes were caused by large trucks in 2017, a 9% increase from 2016. There are different standards for these drivers and their companies than the average driver.
Who Is Responsible for a Truck Accident?
For those involved in a truck accident, they can name the trucking company as a party in a lawsuit or an insurance claim. By law, trucking companies are required to carry higher insurance policies than the average driver. These higher policies will protect the company and their driver from any potential lawsuits. If the company’s driver is involved in an accident, the injured party can file a lawsuit and come after their employer’s assets. A higher insurance premium will protect these financial resources. It is important to remember that a trucking company will have more resources to fight your claim as well. They do not want to pay out a high settlement for an accident. If you have been involved in an accident, it is crucial to seek the legal help of an experienced truck accident lawyer.
Two Types of Liability
A trucking company is responsible for accident damages in two ways: negligence of the company or negligence of the driver (employee). Businesses are liable for the actions of their employees under the principle of “respondeat superior.” Under the law, if the employee causes harm to others while performing their job duties, the company is liable. For example, if the driver is delivering goods for the company and causes an accident, both the employee and company are parties in the lawsuit. However, there are a few exceptions to the rule since there are different rules for independent contractors than other employees.
A trucking company can be negligent in many different ways. They all have a legal duty of care to operate their vehicles safely to protect everyone on the road. If the company is negligent and breaches this duty, they can be held liable for all damages and injuries to you.
There are many examples of negligence on the part of the trucking company. A few of them include:
- Employing drivers without the proper licenses, such as a commercial driver’s license (CDL)
- Hiring drivers with a history of driving under the influence or other reckless behavior
- Failure to conduct the required Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) alcohol and drug testing on their drivers
- Failing to discipline reckless drivers or those who failed drug and alcohol tests
- Violating the FMCSA driving hour regulation by encouraging drivers to stay on the road for extended hours
- Failing to maintain all the vehicles and trucks in the company’s fleet
As you can see, there are many ways a trucking company can be held liable for damages caused by their drivers. Some companies blatantly violate the laws to increase their profits for the business, and they put the lives of other drivers at risk. These are reckless companies that need to held accountable for their actions. After a truck accident, the company needs to be held responsible for your injuries or damages. You can keep these unsafe companies and drivers off the road by making them liable to the fullest extent of the law.
Hire an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer
When you are in a truck accident, it is a complicated process to begin the legal proceedings. Don’t try to settle or deal with the company by yourself. You want to hire an experienced truck accident lawyer who can handle your claim against the trucking company. Our experienced team will be working hard on your side. At RAM Law, we are here to help you hold the driver and company liable for all damages and claims. Call a personal injury lawyer in our office in New Brunswick at (732) 247-3600 or our office in Somerville at (908) 448-2560 to schedule your consultation today.