Truck accident law is simple – it covers all personal injuries affecting the occupants of another passenger vehicle because of an accident or collision with a commercial freight truck, or an 18-wheeler, or a big rig. In the case of a truck, the premise of liability rests on negligence. As a professional truck driver is a doctrine as the negligent party, multiple law sources may apply, including civil liability rules, traffic laws, rules of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), and DOT (Department of Transportation) regulations.
Contributing Factors to Truck Accidents
Semi-trucks weigh more than 80,000 lbs, whereas a passenger car weighs 4000 lbs maximum. Considering the differences like ride height, driver’s vision, and stopping distance, it is easy to determine the problem areas when these two types of large and small vehicles ply on the roadway. Besides, commercial truck drivers get financial incentives when they travel long distances as quickly as they can, paying no attention to passenger cars sharing the same road.
According to MG LAW, such accidents are avoidable, but only with a lot of caution. Unfortunately, commercial truck drivers do not consider this a priority. Accidents occur when they do not stop at regular intervals or take proper rest in between, or drive under the influence of some sleep-suppressing drugs such as methamphetamine.
When truck drivers are aggressive on the road, they put others at very high risk, making sudden wide turns, merging hostility, driving rashly, and carrying an unsafe load.
In such cases, establishing liability and recovering compensation for accidents are two important things. The plaintiff should be able to identify every individual involved in the accident. It is crucial to name all the parties in the documents of the court when the lawsuit is filed. Nothing should be omitted or left out, as it may not be possible to add the same later.
MG Law suggests that victims without any previous experience of personal injury litigation should find a proper defendant and take the matter forward, i.e. sue the truck driver. In most cases, the carelessness of the truck driver is the main cause of the accident. While it is important to name the driver, there may be other parties legally responsible for the same. The additional defendants could be the trucking company, truck manufacturer, mechanics, maintenance companies, parts companies, and others.
Evidence of Damages & Liability
After naming all defendants, the plaintiff has to establish evidence to prove liability. Usually, the theory of a plaintiff rests on negligence, except strict liability. The concept of negligence is straightforward. The plaintiff has to prove that a prudent driver in the position of the defendant would have acted with caution and care.
However, considering other defendants involved certain other aspects of the doctrine of negligence become relevant. For example, if the truck company hired a known driver with a history of past accidents or substance abuse, the company becomes liable for negligence. There is something called “vicarious liability”, which makes the company indirectly liable based on the status of the employer.
Besides proving liability, it is also crucial to show the extent of the damage. It is only possible to accomplish this through eyewitnesses.
Truck accidents are occurring almost every day. MG LAW suggests that the only way to avoid liability is to ensure insurance providers and trucking companies have investigating teams and attorneys ready to work.