Can I Sue the Truck Driver's Employer After a Truck Accident?
Truck accidents are among the most dangerous types of accidents that a person can experience. Trucking companies and their employees, truck drivers, have numerous legal responsibilities to protect others who share the roadways with them. When truck drivers drive negligently, victims who become injured may be able to pursue a lawsuit against the truck driver or the company that employs them.Suing a Trucking Company for Accidents
Bringing a lawsuit against the trucking company is usually more lucrative as the company will have more assets than the truck driver. However, victims cannot always sue the trucking company after an accident. Whether you can sue the trucking company depends on whether the driver was an employee in the traditional sense.
If the truck driver was indeed an independent contractor, you might not be able to bring a lawsuit against the trucking company. Regardless of this classification, if you can prove that the trucking company was negligent in the employee's hiring, training, or handling, you may still be able to bring a lawsuit against the trucking company for negligent hiring.Suing a Truck Driver as an Employee
Generally, victims who are negligent truck drivers injured can bring a lawsuit against the trucking company if the driver was an employee. Trucking companies may try to claim that their employees are independent contractors to avoid liability, and an attorney can help you determine whether the truck driver was, in fact, an employee. If a trucking company controls the driver's work schedule and trains the driver, the driver is typically considered an employee.
However, if the truck driver was using the truck for a non-work purpose when the accident happened, they may be considered outside the scope of their employment, and you may not be able to sue the trucking company. It is worth speaking to an attorney about whether you can pursue damages against the trucking company. If you can, you may be able to recover more compensation for your injuries than a few who sued the truck driver personally because companies usually have more assets.When Are Trucking Companies Liable for Truck Accidents?
The conditions that caused the accident will be important to determine whether you can sue the truck company. Trucking companies can act negligently, just like truck drivers can. When trucking companies fail to meet their duties to adequately screen, train, manage, and provide employees with safety equipment, they can be held legally accountable for the accidents that result. Suppose you can show that the trucking company's negligence was directly responsible for causing the accident that resulted in your injuries. In that case, you can likely name the trucking company in your lawsuit.Hiring and Screening Truck Drivers
Trucking companies have a legal responsibility to hire reasonably safe employees. When a trucking company hires an employee without ensuring that they have a clean driving history and necessary qualifications, and a negligent driver causes an accident, they can be held accountable. Similarly, trucking companies must conduct regular alcohol and drug screenings on their drivers. If they fail to identify alcohol use and their driver causes an intoxicated accident, the victim can bring a lawsuit against the company.Driver Training Protocols
Trucking companies must ensure that drivers are trained to operate large commercial trucks. When companies fail to ensure that their truck drivers know what they are doing behind the wheel, they open themselves up to liability for any accidents.Overworked Drivers
Truck drivers may try to drive while fatigued to get to their destination and receive payment. Driving while tired can be as dangerous as driving while intoxicated. When truck drivers fail to take their required breaks and get enough sleep and rest, they are more likely to cause an accident.Truck Maintenance
When trucks are not functioning correctly, they are more likely to be involved in an accident. Trucking companies may try to cut corners by avoiding regular maintenance of their trucks. They may need to keep their tires safe and fix known truck problems. When accidents result, victims can bring a lawsuit against a trucking company.Injured in a Charlotte Truck Accident? Contact an Experienced Attorney
If you have been seriously injured in a truck accident in North or South Carolina, you do not have to handle your claim for compensation alone. The experienced attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, will handle every aspect of your claim while you focus on your recovery.
We offer potential clients a free initial case evaluation so they can ask questions and learn more about their legal rights. You only have a limited amount of time to file a case, so we recommend reaching out to an attorney as soon as possible. Contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC, today to schedule your free initials consultation.