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A line of semi trucks on the road. Some drivers wonder who is responsible for compensation if injured in a truck accident.If you have been a victim of a truck accident, then multiple parties may be responsible for paying compensation for your injuries and damages. The at-fault party for a commercial truck accident is usually the truck driver, trucking company, or sometimes other drivers involved in your accident. Learn more about how to hold truck drivers and trucking companies responsible for your damages.

Should I Sue the Truck Driver or the Trucking Company?

There are a few factors that will determine whether you are suing the truck driver, the trucking company, or both. Some trucking companies have policies that will hold truck drivers solely responsible for a truck accident, while other companies may become the responsible party in a truck accident lawsuit. The main factors considered when identifying the liable party include:

Truck Driver’s Employment

The truck driver’s unique employment situation can determine who can be assigned truck accident liability. If a truck driver is an independent contractor for a trucking company, the driver may be responsible for the truck accident claim. If the trucker was using the truck outside of their employment hours, they will also be considered responsible for your damages.

Trucking Company’s Insurance and Policies

Victims of a trucking accident can also seek compensation from the trucking company’s insurance company. Because of vicarious liability rules, a truck driver’s employer is responsible for any injuries or damages caused by a trucking accident. A trucking company must compensate victims for all accident-related expenses, particularly if the trucker is a full-time employee or if the company’s policies indicate this is the proper procedure in a truck accident case.

Other policies of the trucking company could also identify the company as the negligent party. If a trucking company violates service regulations that make drivers of large trucks more fatigued (and thereby lowers the trucker’s reaction time) or if the company has poor hiring practices, the company may be held accountable for recoverable damages.

Circumstances Related To the Truck Accident

Truck accidents often involve multiple vehicles and multiple victims. In some scenarios, one driver may have violated the rules of the road and caused a truck driver to respond to sudden road conditions, which then led to the accident that caused your injuries. In this case, you may be able to sue multiple drivers to compensate for your injuries.

In some cases, a trucker may also be held liable for the accident based on the specific circumstances of the accident, such as if the trucker happened to lose control of the truck because of speeding or intoxication. Other factors, such as mechanical failure or unsafe road conditions, can also contribute to a truck accident case.

Who Else Can Be Responsible for My Compensation?

Texas is an at-fault state, and according to state law, this means that any person responsible for a personal injury claim is also responsible for compensating victims. In addition to the truck driver and the trucking company, victims of a trucking accident may also be able to sue the owner of the freight carried in the truck, the truck manufacturer, the truck safety inspector, or the mechanic who made repairs on the truck.

Establishing Liability

To establish liability in a trucking accident, a lawyer must first determine if another party can be considered guilty of negligence. Proving negligence typically involves satisfying criteria such as duty of care, breach of duty, causation, and damage.

Your legal team will be able to examine the circumstances of your accident to identify the negligent party to hold accountable for your compensation. For truck accident claims with multiple liable parties, all of these criteria must be met for each party to establish negligence.

How Common Are Truck Accidents?

Commercial trucks are large trucks that have a much larger braking time than smaller cars, which often means that victims of trucking accidents will suffer severe injuries and even fatal injuries. The fatality rate for truck accident victims has increased over the last several years, and many more people have been victims of serious injuries from truck accidents.

Because a passenger car is much smaller than a semi-trailer or other large truck, the passengers in these vehicles are far more likely to be severely injured. Large truck accidents are responsible for 9% of all fatal car accidents.

What Are Federal Regulations for Truck Drivers?

There are several federal laws that determine how large trucks are maintained and operated, as well as laws that dictate how trucking companies can hire and train truck drivers. If a company is guilty of violating these federal laws, then it will be held liable for all of your injuries and damages. A company may also have to pay additional penalties if they are found guilty of violating these federal rules and regulations.

Federal Requirements for Trucking Companies

Some of the main federal requirements of trucking companies include ensuring truck tires are regularly replaced and that the cargo load on the trailer is not over the limit for the size of the truck.

Companies must also ensure the cargo is secured adequately. There are even Hours of Service regulations that must be followed by companies to ensure drivers get enough breaks on long hauls to reduce fatal truck accidents.

How Can a Truck Accident Lawyer Help Me?

A truck accident lawyer with extensive experience can help you file a successful lawsuit against the person who is responsible for your accident. When you work with a lawyer, you can provide evidence about how the accident happened to establish negligence. A lawyer can also help you if a family member was fatally injured in a truck accident case.

Recover All Damages

Undoubtedly, your recovery process will be much easier when you can rest assured that you will be able to recover all damages the accident caused. Some of these damages can include non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, as well as property damage to your personal vehicle.

A lawyer can help you recover the cost of medical bills, lost income, and loss of future earning ability. For victims who are permanently disabled, damages from truck accident claims can also include coverage for the cost of future medical expenses.

Seek Additional Compensation

If you have already sued the at-fault party’s insurance company, but you still need help with financial recovery after a truck accident, you will need the help of a truck accident lawyer to pursue compensation from other negligent parties.

Seeking additional compensation for your accident may be necessary if your damages are not covered by the maximum settlement offered by the trucking company’s insurance company. All parties who are at fault for your accident may owe you for your damages and injuries.

Unlike a car accident, an accident involving a semi-trailer or another large truck may involve multiple liable parties, such as trucking companies, drivers, and mechanics. You will need to file claims with multiple insurance companies to receive full compensation for your personal injury. Reach out to Brian C. Gutierrez at 979-271-5338 for a free consultation today to learn more about your legal rights as a victim.

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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