One of the unique factors in a truck accident lawsuit is the ability to name multiple defendants. Typically, in a two-car collision, the victim sues the negligent driver whose insurance policy pays out. However, truck drivers may or may not be held responsible. If you’ve been involved in a crash with a large truck, you can contact the truck wreck lawyers at Hobbs Law Group for a free consultation to explore issues of liability. Our team of investigators will be able to determine who played a part in the accident and hold them accountable.
When Is A Truck Driver Responsible for Damages?
A truck driver’s personal insurance policy may be tapped in the following scenarios:
- The truck driver was “off the clock,” conducting personal business at the time of the accident.
- The truck driver broke company policy by stopping at a bar on shift, then drinking and driving.
- The truck driver improperly loaded cargo, which caused the vehicle to jack-knife or overturn.
- The truck driver intentionally used the truck to slam into another driver or cause damage.
- The truck driver stopped on the shoulder but failed to use proper safety markers, as instructed.
- The truck driver broke company policy by driving an excessive amount of hours, causing fatigue that led to the crash.
- The truck driver broke the law– speeding, failing to signal, running a light, or driving aggressively.
- The truck driver failed to allow for unsafe road conditions– such as adverse weather.
When Is A Trucking Company Responsible for Damages?
A trucking company covers situations that arise within the scope of employment, such as:
- The driver was working at the time the accident occurred.
- The driver was employed by the trucking company.
- The driver’s negligence caused injury.
Often, trucking companies try to deny liability by claiming the driver was “an independent contractor” or pointing the finger at a shipping partner. However, current federal law holds trucking companies ultimately responsible for the vast majority of accidents.
How Does Truck Accident Liability Work?
In cases of multiple defendants, liability may be ascribed to different parties. They pay a percentage of the total award based on how at fault the courts determine them to be. For instance, if a victim is owed $500,000 total, the settlement may break down to the driver’s policy paying $125,000 (for 25% liability) and the trucking firm’s insurance policy paying the remaining $475,000 (for 75% liability).
If the injured motorist is deemed at fault, the total damages may be reduced based on their ascribed negligence. This is why it’s always a wise decision to hire truck accident lawyers to maintain your innocence.
What Other Parties May Be Liable for Damages in a Truck Accident?
It is also possible another party is responsible:
- The supervisor or company in charge of truck maintenance
- The subcontractor or vendor responsible for loading cargo or who owns the cargo
- The truck or parts manufacturer who made defective brakes, tires, or control systems
Contact Hobbs Law Group for a Free Consultation
The Los Angeles trucking accident lawyers at Hobbs Law Group will assess your case during a free consultation. Our investigators will explore issues of liability and let you know what documentation you’ll need. Often, we call in expert witnesses to build a strong case for negligence. Most cases result in settlement, but we will create a claim strong enough to withstand trial. You only pay the standard legal fee if we win, so it’s a risk-free proposition to seek the best possible representation in LA.