Who is Responsible for Your Truck Accident?

Who is Responsible for Your Truck Accident?

Posted on:
March 17, 2020
Auto Accident
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Because commercial trucking is such a large industry in the United States, many roadways are filled with these vehicles. With so many trucks on the road, it’s hardly any wonder why one out of every eight traffic accidents involves a commercial truck. Many of these accidents involve serious injuries and even death. If you’re involved in such an accident, you need a Flint personal injury attorney to help you get compensation. 

Although it may be obvious that you are not at fault for the accident, determining legal liability can be complicated. Depending on the facts of your case, the individual driver or the employer may be at fault. Deciding who is at fault is one of the first steps in recovering your compensation

What Caused the Accident?

When you and your personal injury attorney in Flint set out to determine who is legally liable for your accident, the first thing you will need to figure out is what caused the accident. Was the driver on his phone or asleep at the wheel? Did the truck malfunction in some way? 

Getting to the bottom of this question may involve lots of fact-finding. You can help your lawyer (an, in turn, yourself) through this process by keeping records of everything related to the accident. Pictures, witness contact information, and records of everything you remember can help. 

When the Driver is At Fault

In some cases, the driver is legally responsible for compensating you. For example, if the driver is an independent contractor rather than an employee, then he or she might be entirely responsible for any damages. At first glance, it can be difficult to tell whether a driver is an employee or an independent contractor. In general, independent contractors:

  • Own their trucks
  • Pay for gas, maintenance, and repairs
  • Make their own schedules
  • Cover their own commercial licensing fees

Unfortunately, many trucking companies claim that their drivers are independent contractors, even when they are employees. A Flint personal injury attorney can uncover the truth of the matter and hold the correct party responsible. 

Even if a driver is an employee, he or she may be liable if they were not on duty at the time of the accident. Furthermore, if the driver deliberately caused the wreck as a result of road rage, he or she should be responsible. 

When is the Trucking Company Responsible?

Although the truck driver is the other person at the scene of the accident, his or her employer could be legally responsible for your compensation through “vicarious liability.” Anytime an employee causes an accident while he or she is carrying out the typical duties of the job, the employer may be liable for damages. 

Trucking companies may also be found liable if they:

  • Did not provide adequate truck maintenance
  • Scheduled the driver incorrectly, not allowing for enough rest
  • Hired someone who was unfit or unlicensed
  • Allowed a truck to exceed the maximum weight limit

Hiring a Flint Personal Injury Attorney

Determining legal responsibility for a trucking accident is rarely cut-and-dry. If you’ve been hurt in a wreck with a commercial vehicle, make sure you get an experience Flint personal injury lawyer on your side. Contact Nickola Law today to set up your free consultation.


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