Is the Truck Driver or Trucking Company Responsible for a Truck Accident?

Get the Help You Need Now
Contact Schiller & Hamilton Law Firm
Free Consultation
★★★★★ Google 300+ Google Reviews

Whether the truck driver or trucking company is responsible for a truck accident depends on the circumstances surrounding the collision. However, if you or a loved one suffered severe injuries in a crash with a large truck, you could be entitled to compensation from the at-fault party. Thus, determining the liable parties is paramount to building your case. A truck accident lawyer can help you with this process.

Defining Negligence and Liability After a Truck Accident

The driver is responsible for the crash if their actions caused it. However, the company could also have liability under the doctrine of respondeat superior, better known as vicarious liability. For example, in South Carolina, employers are responsible for the wrongful acts of employees that act within their job duties.

Additional factors could also determine fault. One example could be if the truck company failed to train the driver adequately. Thus, in some cases, both parties may share financial liability.

A truck accident lawyer will help you determine who to pursue for the compensation you deserve and thoroughly investigate your case. Then, they will negotiate the best financial outcome for you.

When to Assign Financial Liability to the Truck Driver Versus the Truck Company

The truck driver could bear financial responsibility for the accident if they are an owner-operator. They could also be liable if their actions were the direct cause of the accident. Driver behaviors that could lead to liability include:

  • Distracted driving
  • Driving under the influence
  • Drowsy driving
  • Hours-of-service violations

The truck company might be financially liable if it fails to train or license the driver correctly. In addition, it could also be responsible if shoddy repairs or skipped maintenance led to the crash.

Additional Potentially Liable Parties

The truck driver and company may not be the only parties to bear responsibility for compensating you. Anyone whose negligence contributed to the accident could assume full or partial liability.

For example, the company that manufactured the truck could be responsible if a manufacturing or design flaw caused or contributed to the accident. In addition, parts manufacturers (like tires, brakes, windshield wipers) or cargo loaders could also bear liability.

Your truck accident lawyer will investigate every avenue to determine liability and pursue whoever they find bears responsibility for your losses.

Damages You Can Recover from the Responsible Party

After determining who bears financial liability for your accident, your lawyer will evaluate your damages carefully. Damages they will help you request include:

  • Current and future medical bills
  • Current and future lost income
  • Loss of future earning capacity
  • Treatment-related travel expenses
  • Property damage or destruction
  • Physical disability or disfigurement
  • Ongoing pain and suffering
  • Mental and emotional trauma

Certain members of your family could recover wrongful death damages if a loved one were fatally injured in the accident. These can range from funeral and burial costs to losing your family member’s financial and emotional support. Again, your lawyer will clarify which family members have the right to file a wrongful death action.

The Timing of Your Compensation Request Matters

Your case will probably resolve with an out-of-court settlement versus a trial. In either case, timing matters. If yours is one of the rare cases that must go to court to resolve, your state limits the time you have to file your lawsuit—for example, South Carolina gives victims three years to file per S.C. Ann. § 15-3-530. Failure to comply could prevent you from pursuing your claim in court.

The sooner you begin working with a truck accident attorney, the more time they have to conduct a thorough investigation and build a solid case file. Early involvement also means your legal team has plenty of time to interview witnesses while their memories are vivid.

A Truck Accident Lawyer Can Help You Build a Strong Case

To identify the at-fault party and make sure you hold them accountable, your lawyer will collect evidence in two categories—causation and costs. Evidence that proves the cause of your accident might include:

  • Official accident report
  • Eyewitness statements
  • Expert witness testimony
  • Accident scene photos
  • Truck driver records and logbooks
  • Truck maintenance records
  • Medical records
  • Injury photos

Evidence your lawyer will collect that documents the accident’s financial damages includes:

  • Medical bills
  • Written prognosis
  • Salary records
  • Property repair estimates
  • Property replacement value

Get Help With Your Truck Accident Case

You could be entitled to financial compensation if you suffered injuries in a collision with a large or commercial truck. Based on the cause of your accident, our truck accident attorney will help you hold the truck driver or trucking company responsible for your recoverable damages.

Contact one of our team members at Schiller & Hamilton to get your free case review today.

Schiller & Hamilton Law Firm

We’ve Got Your Back
Call Us for a Free Case Evaluation

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.