Do you know about these common truck company defenses?
A semi-truck accident can leave devastation in its wake. After all, these massive vehicles can tear other cars to shreds, leaving drivers and passengers with serious injuries. And recovering from those injuries can be painful, time-consuming, and stressful. Some individuals never recover from their truck accident-related injuries. This is unacceptable, which is why if you’ve been harmed in one of these wrecks then you may want to consider legal action.
As we’ve discussed previously on this blog, a personal injury lawsuit in one of these situations should focus on both the negligent trucker who caused the accident as well as his or her employer. This is because the truck company will have a larger pool of resources that is much more capable of fully compensating you for your damages. Yet, this recovery isn’t automatic, which is why you’ll need to be prepared to address each of the following common truck company defenses:
- Comparative fault: This is probably the most commonly utilized defense tactic. Here, a truck company essentially tries to shift the blame back onto you, arguing that you’re at least partially to blame for the accident. If the truck company is successful in making this argument, then your ultimate recovery will be reduced by the percentage of fault that is assigned to you. This can dramatically reduce your award and stifle your recovery. So, be prepared to defend your driving at the time of the accident in question.
- Frolic and detour: Another way that truck companies try to shift the blame is by arguing that the trucker who caused the accident was operating outside the scope of his or her employment at the time of the crash. This may include running a personal errand or taking an unapproved route. This is sometimes referred to as frolic or detour. If the truck company is successful in raising these arguments, then it might avoid liability altogether, leaving you with recovering solely from the negligent trucker. Again, this may leave you short-changed and unable to recover the full extent of your damages.
- Third-party liability: Truck companies will try to blame anybody and everybody to avoid liability. So, if your accident involved multiple vehicles, then other drivers will often be attacked by a truck company so that it can shield itself from liability. If the facts of your accident are a little muddled or are otherwise complicated, then you might want to consider having an accident reconstruction conducted so that it is clearer who is at fault for the wreck.
- No fault: Sometimes truck companies argue that no one is at fault for the accident in question, and therefore no one should be held liable. This is often seen in instances of bad weather where visibility is reduced or a hazard was present in the road that required quick thinking and abrupt vehicle movements to avoid it. Here, you can still assess the trucker’s driving at the time to see if it was appropriate under the circumstances.
Do you need help with your claim?
We know that just dealing with the aftermath of a truck accident can be difficult, to say the least. Dealing with the legalities of it can be stressful and overwhelming. That’s why competent legal teams like ours stand ready to help. So, if you’ve been injured in a truck accident and want to position yourself for a strong personal injury claim and thereby maximize your chances of imposing liability and recovering the compensation that you need, then please consider discussing the facts of your case with an experienced legal team that knows how to competently litigate these kinds of cases.