Injuries from a truck accident can be incredibly severe. Huge trucks weigh a lot, and when they crash into smaller cars and SUVs, the drivers and occupants of those vehicles are often the ones to face severe injuries, while the truck driver might walk away unscathed. If you were hurt in an accident with a large truck, there could be routes to compensation available to you that might have never thought of.
Our lawyers can often help you get compensation through insurance claims and lawsuits against the driver of the truck as well as the company they worked for. If they hit you while working, their employer should be responsible for your crash – but getting damages from large trucking companies with large legal teams is often a challenge without an attorney on your side.
To get a free case review, contact Howe Law’s truck accident lawyers at (844) 876-4357.
Holding Trucking Companies Responsible for Crashes in Mableton, GA
Truck accidents might be caused by the driver in the truck at the time of the crash, but they might not be the only party you can sue for the accident. In many cases, the company they work for is responsible because it was their employee who hit you. In other cases, trucking companies bear some of the responsibility for the crash as well because of their own mistakes and problems.
“Vicarious liability” is when you hold one party responsible for something another party did. The most common way this works is with “respondeat superior” cases – cases under a legal doctrine that allows you to sue an employer for their employee’s on-the-job negligence.
If the trucker that caused your crash did so while carrying out their duties as a trucking company employee, then the trucking company they work for can be held accountable for the trucker’s mistakes. Truckers sitting behind the wheel driving a truck are usually considered “on duty,” but trucking companies will still try to fight these allegations by claiming that their driver was instead on a joy ride or violating company policy when the crash happened. This claim that the driver was not “on duty” because they were violating company policy is common in cases where the trucker was speeding or where they were doing something very dangerous like drinking and driving.
Nonetheless, our truck accident lawyers will fight to make the trucking company pay for their driver’s mistakes on the road. If the trucker was an independent contractor, however, they will be the only party you can sue. Without an “employer” to hold accountable, the case stops with the driver.
The trucking company might be responsible for what its driver did, but it might also share blame for the crash by directly doing something or failing to do something. This usually comes down to one of three issues: vehicle problems, driver problems, and regulatory violations.
Trucking companies often own the trucks their drivers use. This means the company is responsible for keeping up with required maintenance schedules, making sure their vehicles are safe, and making sure the trucks pass all required inspections. If there was a problem with the vehicle and that caused the crash, then it might be the case that all of the drivers were innocent victims and it was the trucking company that caused the accident.
Similar to how trucking companies are responsible for the condition of their trucks, they are also responsible for the condition of their drivers. As an employer, trucking companies need to run proper checks on their drivers. If the company missed a history of DUI, vehicular assault, repeat accidents, or regulatory violations, then it might be the case that they put a dangerous driver out on the roads. This can often be sued for in a case of “negligent hiring.” Similarly, if they retained a dangerous driver after knowing of previous mistakes, “negligent retention” could be what you sue them for.
Lastly, trucking companies are required to follow many state and federal safety regulations. Some trucking companies in the past have been accused of violating these rules, sometimes on purpose. If the trucking company looked the other way over a violation or actually pushed their drivers to commit regulatory violations, then they could be in serious trouble and face liability for the crash.
Getting Compensation for Trucking Accident Victims in Mableton, GA
The process for getting compensation after an accident can be complex to those who are unfamiliar with the process. After an accident, you can turn to insurance claims, but a lawsuit is often the best way to get full compensation for your injuries.
If you have optional first-party benefits on your insurance policy, such as medpay, there might be some coverage under your own insurance policy after your crash. Otherwise, Georgia works on a fault-based insurance system, which means that the at-fault driver and their insurance pays for the damages caused in an auto accident.
Truck drivers and the companies they work for are required to carry insurance to pay for the injuries and property damage they cause in a crash. Commercial truckers often have high-dollar policies to cover the cargo they carry as well as the potential damages from an accident.
To file a claim against the driver’s insurance, you need to get their insurance info. It is important to work with a lawyer when making an insurance claim so that you can know how much the case should be worth and avoid any disclosures that might be construed as admissions of fault.
Insurance companies often fail to pay full damages and refuse to settle for a fair value. When this happens, the only route left to compensation might be to file a lawsuit where the court can order the driver and their insurance company to pay what they owe you.
Contact Our Truck Accident Lawyers in Mableton, GA Today
Call Howe Law’s truck accident attorneys for a free case assessment by dialing (844) 876-4357.