Due to the weight and size of big rigs and tractor-trailers, a truck accident victim may suffer catastrophic injuries or even death. Since these collisions can be so devastating, both federal and state laws provide heavy regulations for commercial driving. These laws include complicated regulations about vehicle maintenance, truck driver training, and the number of hours that a driver may work without resting. All truckers are expected to be fully alert and cautious behind the wheel, but often drivers fail to meet this standard. If you have been hurt in a motor vehicle collision in the Dallas area, you can consult the attorneys at Feizy Law Office to assist you in pursuing compensation from a negligent driver or company.Pursuing Compensation after a Truck Accident
Truck accidents are often caused by negligence. If a driver or company fails to follow a federal or state law designed to keep people safe and causes an accident, the victim may be able to sue under the doctrine of negligence per se. Under this rule, if an individual can prove that the defendant violated a safety statute that was designed to protect a class of which the victim is a member, that the violation caused the accident, and that damages were incurred, the defendant likely will be deemed negligent.
For example, if a truck driver runs a red light and hits a pedestrian, a safety statute designed to protect pedestrians has been violated, and the pedestrian may be able to sue under the negligence per se doctrine. Even if the court does not find negligence per se as a matter of law, the pedestrian can sue under an ordinary negligence theory. Similarly, a truck driver who fails to take mandated rest breaks and falls asleep at the wheel, causing an accident, may be liable under negligence per se.
Since the injuries in many big rig crashes are so devastating, there is a strong possibility that a truck driver's insurance will not cover the full scope of your damages. In that case, you may need to bring in another party. If a truck driver was in the course and scope of his employment at the time of the accident, you may be able to hold his employer vicariously liable for the damages, regardless of whether the employer was at fault.
What if the driver was not working at the time of the accident? In that case, you may still be able to sue the employer or the trucking company for negligent hiring or supervision. These are theories of direct liability. Under federal law, trucking companies are required to obtain background information and the driving record of an applicant for a truck-driving job. If they fail to comply with these regulations, they may be held accountable.
Negligent hiring is based on the notion that the truck company should not have hired a particular driver because the truck company knew or should have known that he was not competent at the time he applied for employment. Similarly, negligent entrustment requires an injured individual to allege that a trucking company should not have entrusted a truck to a particular driver because he was unable to safely operate the vehicle. Among other things, a victim suing the trucking company for negligent hiring or negligent entrustment will need to show that the trucking company at some point learned of the truck driver's incompetence and continued to allow him to use the truck. For example, if a trucking company knows that a driver has two prior moving violations, it is exposed to liability for either negligent hiring or negligent entrustment when the driver gets into an accident that causes harm to someone else.Enlist an Experienced Plano Attorney for Your Injury Claim
After a truck accident, you may be overwhelmed by medical bills, the effect of your injuries on your job and family life, and the changes to your lifestyle. These cases can be complex because of the complex regulations involved. Usually, a truck driver's insurer and a truck company's insurer will join forces to try to show that an accident victim was to blame for an accident, and that no regulations were violated. However, if you retain an injury lawyer after a crash in Plano or elsewhere in the Dallas region, you may have a better chance of asserting your rights. Call Feizy Law Office at (214) 651-8686 or schedule a free consultation by completing our online form. We represent injured individuals in cities such as Fort Worth, Arlington, Garland, and Irving.
- Blind Spots
- Braking Ability
- Truck Driver Fatigue
- Falling Debris
- Wide Turns
- Lack of Truck Driver Training
- State Trucking Regulations
- Negligent Supervision
- Negligent Hiring
- Improper Maintenance of Trucks
- Vicarious Liability
- Fatal Truck Accidents
- Federal Trucking Regulations
- Jackknife Accidents
- Negligent Entrustment
- Underride Accidents
- Delivery Vehicle Accidents