Trucking Company Liability
When you are the victim of a trucking accident which causes serious personal injuries, you want to know who is responsible for your pain and suffering, high medical bills, property damage, and lost wages from work. This is not always a simple task, especially if you have months of physical, emotional, and financial recovery in front of you. Victims can often be confused as to who is liable and insurance companies may point the blame on other people or entities—including on you.
Luckily, an experienced Albuquerque trucking accident lawyer can help protect your rights when a large commercial truck like a tractor trailer, 18 wheeler, big rig, or other box truck collides with you. One of the most culpable parties is usually the trucking company, even if the truck driver was 100% at fault for the crash.
Proving Liability Against a Trucking Company
Even where the truck driver is completely at fault for a reckless or negligent 18 wheeler wreck which causes you personal injury, the trucking company will still be liable if the crash occurred while the employee-truck driver was within his or her scope of employment. This is known as respondeat superior, which is a type of vicarious liability. This means that the employer will be liable for the employee’s acts or omissions if such conduct was in furtherance of the employer’s business. Therefore, the liability of a truck driver’s negligence will become the liability of the trucking company. This means the trucking company will be just as liable if not more liable than the truck driver for your injuries.
This is important for several reasons. First, the trucking company is likely the one with the insurance coverage who can compensate you for your pain and suffering, medical bills, and lost wages. The trucking company also has more assets and an ability to pay for your damages that an individual employee simply will not have. Second, this allows a victim to recover from multiple entities who may have caused or contributed to the big rig wreck.
Additionally, a trucking company may be directly liable for your 18 wheeler wreck if the trucking company actively contributed to the cause of your crash. Some common examples of when a trucking company will be liable for a truck wreck includes the following:
- Failing to properly service the truck’s brakes;
- Improperly putting on tires, using faulty tires, or failing to change out balding, damaged, or old tires;
- Failing to properly secure a cargo load;
- Imposing unrealistic delivery schedules that force truck drivers to speed or forego sleep;
- Failing to perform routine maintenance on the truck or get it serviced;
- Negligently hiring an unqualified employee;
- Failing to train employees properly;
- Overloading a truck;
- Forcing truck drivers to break the law; and
- Many other causes.
Trucking Company Liability for Negligent Hiring
After a tractor trailer crash causing personal injuries or wrongful death, the truck driver’s conduct, ability, and training will come under review. If the truck driver was not qualified to operate a large commercial vehicle or if the truck driver was an individual who should not have been entrusted with a large commercial vehicle, the trucking company may be liable for negligent hiring. This means that the trucking company will be additionally and separately liable for the victim’s injuries and damages under a separate cause of action.
Some reasons why a trucking company may be found liable for negligent hiring include the following:
- Not confirming the truck driver had a valid commercial driver’s license or CDL;
- Failing to discover if a truck driver’s license was suspended;
- When the trucking company does not conduct a background check;
- If the trucking company did not test the truck driver with a road test;
- Failing to identify a pattern of misconduct by a truck driver such as drinking and driving or drugged driving; and
- Hiring a truck driving who is unfit to drive a large commercial truck.
Trucking Company Liability for Failing to Train Employees Properly
Even if a trucking company does hire a qualified truck driver, if the trucking company fails to properly train the truck driver or improperly trains the truck driver the trucking company may be negligent. This could occur if the trucking company advises the truck driver how to service the brakes but teaches the driver a wrong and unsafe way to do it. Or if the trucking company fails to require truck drivers to check their cargo during the delivery. Sometimes trucking companies will even teach their truck drivers the opposite of state law and federal regulations. When this causes your trucking crash and injuries, you may be able to prove liability.
Holding a Trucking Company Can Be Difficult if You Don’t Hire an Experienced Albuquerque Trucking Accident Lawyer
Here at the Caruso Law Offices, P.C., we heavily focus on commercial trucking crashes causing catastrophic personal injuries or wrongful death. We have a proven track record of success and fight hard to protect the rights of our clients and their families. We know how draining litigation can be on a victim of a personal injury accident, which is why we handle all aspects of the case so the victim can focus on healing and recovery.
If you or a loved one have been seriously injured or killed in a commercial trucking wreck, call us today for a free consultation by dialing 505-369-1495. Together we can get through this.