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A line of semi trucks. Other drivers are wondering how fault is determined when a truck is involved in an accident.Truck accidents can result in severe injuries and damages. If you have been in an accident involving a truck, you may be entitled to claim compensation as an injured passenger vehicle driver. Learn more about how a truck accident attorney can help you recover compensation from all potentially liable parties.

Proving Fault In a Truck Accident Lawsuit

Determining fault in a trucking accident will usually involve finding evidence to meet the various elements of negligence. A truck accident lawyer will conduct a thorough investigation and guide you through the legal process so you can get the justice you deserve. The steps to prove fault in truck accident cases include:

Identify Liable Party

First, the liable party in the truck accident will need to be identified. Much of the time, the liable party is the truck driver, particularly in large truck crashes that involve truck driver negligence. The truck driver may be held liable for serious injuries if the accident happened when the driver was guilty of distracted driving, reckless driving, or driving under the influence. Sometimes, a truck driver with driving fatigue can also be held responsible for your injuries.

In addition to the at-fault driver, there may be other potentially liable parties who can be held at fault for a truck accident. These other parties include:

Trucking Company

Trucking companies may be responsible for your accident if the company is guilty of negligent hiring practices or if the company fails to meet safety regulations for truck driving equipment. If the trucking company also contributed to driver fatigue by over-scheduling the truck driver, the company can also be held responsible for your personal injury.

A truck company can sometimes avoid liability if the company hires independent contractors as commercial truck drivers. In this case, the truck driver’s insurance company may have to compensate you for your injuries and damages.

Truck Manufacturer

Sometimes, the truck manufacturer can also be held liable for your accident, such as if the accident occurred because of a defective part. In this case, because the manufacturer sold poor equipment, it could be argued that your accident could have been avoided if the manufacturer was not so negligent.

Truck Maintenance Company

A truck maintenance company may also be liable for an accident if the company failed to fix defective trucking equipment. Commercial trucks are built with heavy-duty, complex machinery, so maintenance on a commercial truck must be completed correctly. It’s common for a truck manufacturer and truck maintenance company to both be liable for serious accidents.

Truck Loading Company

Finally, a truck-loading company can also be held responsible for an accident. If a loading company overloads a large truck, it could cause weight problems on the truck, which can contribute to an accident. A major part of truck safety is ensuring the balance and weight distribution on the truck do not overwhelm the capability of the large truck.

Gather Evidence

The next step in determining fault in a truck accident is to gather evidence. Sometimes, evidence can be found after a police investigation, while other times, the police report after commercial truck accidents can indicate which driver was responsible for the traffic accident.

Your lawyer will also find other evidence to prove liability and negligence. Photographic evidence of the accident scene, videos of the accident, damage to the passenger vehicle and commercial truck, and witness statements can all be used to prove your case. Sometimes, a personal injury lawyer may hire accident reconstruction specialists to prove negligence.

Determine Negligence

The last step to determine fault after a truck crash is to prove each element of negligence. The basic path to proving negligence is to establish that the truck driver owed you a duty of care on the road and behaved in such a way that this duty of care was breached, which ultimately led to your devastating injuries and damages. Depending on the exact details of your tractor-trailer accident, different negligence doctrines can be used to pursue fair compensation.

What Are Different Negligence Laws?

Determining fault in a truck accident case is only one part of how negligence is determined in a truck accident lawsuit. Three negligence laws may play a part in how your insurance company claim or personal injury lawsuit is settled.

Pure Contributory Negligence

Pure contributory negligence is a doctrine that does not allow a driver to recover any compensation for damages if the driver is found slightly at fault for an accident. The only way to recover compensation under pure contributory negligence is if the driver can prove that the other motorist was willfully negligent.

Pure Comparative Fault

Pure comparative fault is another negligence law. Under this doctrine, fault can be divided between multiple drivers, which allows victims to sue for a portion of damages if the victim is not at-fault for the accident. Even if the victim is 99% responsible for the accident, the victim can still sue for 1% in compensation.

Modified Comparative Fault

Modified comparative fault is similar to pure comparative fault, except that the qualifications for this doctrine are a little more strict. Texas follows the modified comparative fault doctrine, so this is the form of negligence that is most likely to be applied to your truck accident. If you are more than 51% at fault for the accident, you will not be able to sue the truck driver or truck company for compensation.

Do You Sue the Truck Driver or the Trucking Company?

Usually, you can simultaneously sue all parties who are responsible for your truck accident case. For example, you can sue both the truck driver and other liable parties for your accident, especially when your truck accident attorney can prove trucking company negligence. It may be necessary to sue truck drivers and trucking companies at the same time to recover all the compensation that is owed to you.

When Should You File a Truck Accident Case?

In general, because passenger vehicles are so much smaller than large trucks, it’s a good idea to file a truck accident lawsuit when you have sustained serious injuries and other personal property damage. In fact, most truck accidents can result in severe, long-lasting, and even life-threatening injuries to drivers of smaller vehicles. Traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, and loss of life are all common injuries after trucking accidents.

When you sue for compensation after accidents involving large trucks, you should be able to recover the cost of medical bills, lost wages, mental anguish, emotional distress, and much more. If your accident resulted in other economic and non-economic damages, your personal injury lawyer should also be able to help you recover these additional damages.

How Common Are Truck Accidents?

Truck accidents are very common. An estimated 6.5% of all crashes in the United States are trucking accidents, which is roughly 388,000 crashes each year. Additionally, about 28% of these accidents result in significant injuries, and 11% of these crashes result in a fatality.

What Causes a Truck Accident?

Truck accidents can be caused by multiple things, including truck drivers driving too long without a break or other negligent behaviors. Some of the most common causes of a truck accident are speeding, failing to adjust driving to the road conditions, and driving under the influence. The police report and investigation for your accident can also determine how a crash occurred.

Why Do You Need an Experienced Truck Accident Lawyer in Texas?

In general, because the trucking industry may try to offer you a lowball settlement or try to dismiss your claims, it’s best to work with a personal injury lawyer. Personal injury cases can often be complex since multiple parties can be responsible for an accident, especially when the comparative fault doctrine is part of your lawsuit. In addition to determining fault, your lawyer will look out for your best interests so you can recover peacefully from all of your injuries and damages.

Before you file a truck accident lawsuit, you must learn how fault is determined in a truck accident so you can help your lawyer find all parties liable for your trucking accident. From trucking companies to other players in the trucking industry, you should be able to recover compensation for all of your injuries and damages after an accident. Get in touch with Brian C. Gutierrez at 979-271-5338 for a free case evaluation today.

If you need a trucking accident attorney in Bryan, TX or College Station, contactBrian C. Gutierrez, PLLCfor experienced representation.

Our semi truck accident lawyer in Bryan, TX can help you build a strong case. We will obtain the crash report, conduct our own investigation, gather evidence, interview witnesses, hire experts, inspect the tractor-trailer, and if necessary, file a lawsuit and subpoena records to prove the negligence of the truck driver and the carrier.

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“No words describe how amazing it is to work with Brian.” J.T.

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