How To Prove Liability In A Truck Accident

how to prove liability trucking accidents

Any car accident is traumatic, but crashes with large trucks can be especially devastating. Unlike a regular passenger vehicle wreck, truck accidents can involve multiple parties and determining liability is more complicated. 

While proving fault in any accident involves examining several factors, this article will offer insight into holding liable parties accountable for your damages. This can include the driver, trucking company and even vehicle manufacturers. 

Factors That Can Help You 

The central allegation in most truck accident cases involves proving the legal elements of negligence. To win your claim, your truck accident Richardson attorney must prove that the defendant's misconduct was the direct cause of the crash's harm and losses. 

Even if you believe that the at-fault truck driver was to blame for the wreck, you can sue their employer under the legal doctrine of vicarious liability. This applies to trucking companies that train their drivers improperly, pressure them into overworking, or fail to maintain the trucks. 

Some employers try to avoid responsibility by claiming that the trucker was an independent contractor rather than an employee. Your lawyer will review the relevant evidence to prove that the trucker's status did not change their employer's legal obligations to them. They will also review the trucking company's policies and practices to identify any other potentially liable parties. These might include truck manufacturers who sold a defective part or faulty system that caused the accident. 

Identifying the At-Fault Party 

Proving that a defendant's negligence caused your injuries is the first step to recovering damages. To do this, your attorney must prove that the defendant's actions were a direct cause of your injuries and losses. Your attorney can use medical records, eyewitness testimony, security camera footage, and expert testimony to prove this. 

Truck drivers who are owner-operators or work as company drivers could be liable for a crash if they were driving recklessly, speeding, or violating trucking regulations regarding hours of service that resulted in fatigue. Trucking companies might also be liable if they fail to perform regular maintenance on trucks or pressure truckers to push beyond federal commercial driver safety limits. 

Sometimes, mechanical failures like faulty brakes and steering can cause devastating accidents. If there is evidence that a manufacturer's defect was the cause of the crash, they could be held liable for your losses. A savvy attorney can identify and file claims against all responsible parties. 

Identifying Damages 

When it comes to a truck accident, a variety of parties could be responsible for your damages. For example, the driver and trucking company may be liable for your injuries if they violated truck driving regulations. The degree to which they were negligent will also affect how much compensation you receive. 

Another possibility for liability is a mechanical failure. Trucks require regular maintenance to function properly. If the brakes or steering system failed and caused a collision, it could be the fault of the trucking company or the individual who leases the vehicle. There are also likely provisions in contracts between cargo shippers and truck owners that explain their responsibility for the vehicle's upkeep. 

Economic damages include medical bills, property damage and lost wages. Your lawyer will help you calculate these losses to compensate you for your full financial loss. You may also be entitled to pain and suffering compensation. 

Gathering Evidence 

While police accident reports offer valuable insight into what happened, they usually don't dig deep enough to uncover a range of potential fault factors that may be present. It is also important to consider mechanical failures like broken brakes or steering that may be common in trucks. Still, it could point to negligence by truck drivers or even the manufacturer of a defective part. 

To pursue a successful claim for damages, victims must establish that the at-fault party met all four criteria of negligence. This typically requires proof of the following: 

You must gather as much evidence in the immediate aftermath of a crash as possible. This includes photographs of the accident scene, medical records, witness testimony and other tangible evidence that will help you prove a trucking company or another party is responsible for your injuries. Over time, valuable information may be lost or destroyed; an experienced attorney will take steps to protect your evidence and ensure that it is available in court.

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