Semi-truck accidents are some of the most devastating accidents a person can experience. After being hit by a semi-truck, it’s likely that you’re dealing with extensive physical injuries, costly medical bills and emotional aftereffects that are negatively influencing your quality of life. In order to receive compensation after a truck accident, you might be thinking about filing a lawsuit, and if so, then you need to learn just how complicated semi-truck lawsuits can be.
Discover your legal options after you’ve been hit by a semi-truck and find out how to determine the responsible party in your personal injury lawsuit.
When Does the Trucking Company Hold Responsibility?
When bringing a lawsuit after a commercial trucking accident, few people are aware how difficult it can be to assign liability in these cases. As a matter of course, many people prefer to bring a suit against the trucking company because the potential compensation amounts are higher. However, trucking companies have very narrow legal responsibilities for accidents caused by their driver, which means you need to look at these factors more closely.
If your goal is to file a suit against a commercial trucking company, you should be aware that the company will only be liable for accidents that occur during the course of work. For example, if the truck driver is off-duty when they cause an accident, then it is the driver, not their employer, who is legally responsible for your wreck. Be very careful to examine liability before filing a suit against a trucking company.
Was the Driver an Employee or an Independent Contractor
An additional factor to consider after being hit by a semi-truck is that very few truck drivers qualify as employees of a trucking company. Instead, most truck drivers are independent contractors. If a truck driver owns their own truck, covers their own expenses and determines the best route from delivery without any input from the trucking company, then the driver is an independent contractor.
If you find that the truck driver in your case is an independent contractor, then you will bring a lawsuit against them and not the trucking company. While cases against an individual truck driver may be easier to win, your available compensation will likely be a great deal lower than if your suit was filed against a trucking company.
Intentional and Malicious Acts
Although previously mentioned, the only time you’ll be able to bring a suit against a trucking company is if the driver causes your injuries while performing their normal job activities. If for example, it is found that the truck driver intentionally caused an accident, this would not fall under the scope of their employment, which means you would file a civil suit against the truck driver.
After an accident has occurred, be sure to find out if the driver was performing a job-related task so that you can decide which type of personal injury lawsuit you will need to file.
Find Legal Counsel After Being Hit by a Semi-Truck
Protect your interests after you’ve been hit by a semi-truck by seeking legal representation from Lewis & Keller. We will examine the facts surrounding your accident and tell you whether you should bring a suit against the trucking company or the truck driver who caused your wreck. Let us give you a free case review today!