Accidents with tractor-trailers differ from accidents with passenger vehicles in that the victim may have the ability to sue both the driver as well as the trucking company that employs the driver.
Victims may file a lawsuit against a driver if the crash victim can prove the driver was unreasonably careless and/or was in violation of federal or state trucking safety rules. There are a wide variety of specific rules to which truckers and trucking companies must adhere to in order to keep the driving public out of harm’s way. When those rules are broken and a motorist is injured, the rule violation creates the presumption of negligence. Victims may be more easily able to convince a jury to award compensation because negligence is presumed. The victim will still need to demonstrate the driver’s negligence was the direct cause of the collision.
Victims may also sue trucking companies after most crashes, which is beneficial to victims because trucking companies generally have both more money and more insurance than individual drivers. Companies may be sued for their own negligence if the company failed to follow its obligations under safety regulations or if the company did not live up to industry standards for safety. Companies are also responsible for actions of truckers they employ when those truckers are on duty. Agency rules make it possible for truck crash victims to pursue a claim against trucking companies based on the negligence of workers on-the-job.
In some cases, there are also others who can be sued, including those responsible for truck maintenance as well as truck manufacturers if there were defective parts. An Austin trucking accident attorney can help identify all possible defendants.