In a Truck Accident, Is the Employee or Employer Responsible?
By Chris Dixon
If someone is injured or sustains property damage in a truck accident, it isn’t always clear who is responsible for damages. If a truck driver caused the crash, they are liable for damages, but their employer could be responsible for the driver’s negligence as well. Filing a claim against more than one party can be difficult, but the process is simpler with an experienced lawyer by your side.
How is Responsibility Determined in a Truck Accident?
Responsibility can be difficult to determine in a truck accident depending on the circumstances and severity of a crash. If a truck driver hits your car and causes injuries or financial damages, you could be eligible to recover compensation from the driver and their employer. “Respondeat Superior” is a tort that states that if an employee is negligent while operating as an employee, their employer is responsible for their negligence.
If you are in a truck accident, it’s essential to gather evidence and consult a lawyer about your case. A lawyer can assess your case, ensure that you have the proof needed to support your claim, and will guide you through the process of filing a powerful insurance claim. While it might be tempting to file a claim without an attorney, it’s crucial to file with a lawyer by your side. Trucking companies are insured by large insurance companies whose main priority is getting you to accept the lowest settlement possible. Your lawyer can help you create a compelling claim, defend your rights, and negotiate for the highest settlement for your case.
When is an Employer Responsible for a Truck Driver’s Actions?
If you are in a truck accident, it isn’t enough to claim that a truck driver and their employer are responsible. Proving that a trucking company is responsible for its employee’s actions requires:
- proof of an employee-employer relationship
- evidence that the truck driver caused the crash
- proof of injuries and damages
It can be difficult to obtain proof of the truck driver’s employment, but an attorney can start an investigation of the accident to retrieve this information. Gathering evidence that shows a connection between the truck driver and the crash is simple as long as you have access to copies of the police report and your medical report. Once you have evidence from the crash, your attorney can determine what damages you should claim for your harm and losses caused in the truck accident.
How Do I File a Claim Against an Employee and Their Employer for a Truck Accident?
If you are injured or experienced financial damages in a truck accident, you’ll need to file individual claims against all responsible parties. Keep in mind, you can only recover compensation that is equal to or less than the value of damages in the accident. For example, if $15,000 of damages is caused in the accident, you can recover up to $15,000 total between your claims. You might be thinking, “why would I bother filing against both the truck driver and their employer then?” The value of a settlement varies from claim to claim and is reached through negotiation by a lawyer. If the other party’s insurance company agrees to offer $10,000 as a settlement for one claim, your lawyer could recover the remainder of your damages with the second claim to maximize your compensation.
How Can an Attorney Benefit My Truck Accident Case?
Without an experienced truck accident attorney by your side, it’s impossible to recover full compensation for damages. If you try to recover damages without a lawyer, the other party’s insurer will likely attempt to offer you a lower settlement. While an attorney would see through this tactic, you could be unaware of the true value of your case and accept a lower settlement.
It’s essential to consult an attorney immediately after a truck accident. Not only will an attorney protect your rights, but they can offer financial assistance and other support that could be needed during this trying time. If you are ready to discuss your case against a truck driver and their employer, contact the Dixon Injury Firm today. Our attorneys provide free consultations to make their services accessible and affordable, and are available 24/7 to answer any questions or concerns our clients might have.