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Holding Companies Accountable for Driver Negligence in a Commercial Vehicle Accident

Truck accidents regularly occur on our roadways. Professional drivers undergo training; however, accidents still happen, and often due to driver negligence. When a commercial driver causes an accident, injured victims could take legal action to hold the driver’s employer accountable.

 

Trucking and transportation companies can be held liable for their drivers’ negligent actions. After a crash with a semi-truck, company van, or other commercial vehicle, understanding the legal process involved is crucial for victims to obtain their deserved compensation.

Commercial Vehicle Accidents: Statistics and Impact

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, over 5,000 people are killed each year in crashes involving commercial vehicles. Thousands more are seriously injured. In most fatal truck crashes, the driver is at fault due to negligent actions such as speeding, distraction, impairment, or other errors.

 

Commercial vehicle accidents can also inflict considerable financial burdens through medical bills, lost income, and other expenses. The psychological damage caused by an accident is immense for the families of victims.

 

Furthermore, victims injured in a commercial vehicle accident often don’t receive compensation from the driver’s employer.

What Is a Commercial Vehicle Company’s Responsibility?

When a truck driver is at fault for causing an accident, the trucking company or employer may be partially responsible. Legally, commercial drivers are agents of their employers. Therefore, the company has vicarious liability for accidents caused by its drivers. Companies are required to hire safe, properly trained drivers and to confirm that vehicles are safely maintained.

 

A company’s failure to uphold these responsibilities is negligence. Victims may have valid claims for compensation from the trucking company, not just the individual driver, due to carelessness.

 

While some comparative negligence, victims should still seek to examine the company’s percentage of responsibility if the driver who caused the crash has minimal insurance or assets for compensation.

 

If a commercial driver lacks sufficient resources to compensate the victim, pursuing damages from their employer’s deeper resources may be the only way to recover losses fully. These principles of corporate accountability empower victims in their pursuit of fairness and just compensation.

What Types of Driver Negligence Lead to Accidents?

Commercial drivers perform many negligent actions that could lead to serious accidents, for example:

 

  • Distracted driving due to cell phone use, eating, or interacting with passengers
  • Violating hours of service regulations by driving too many consecutive hours without rest
  • Operating a multi-ton truck aggressively or at excessive speeds
  • Drug or alcohol impairment while driving
  • Drowsiness, where an operator continues driving while fatigued

 

These negligent behaviors endanger the driver, their cargo, and the lives of nearby travelers. Companies that fail to address drivers about these behaviors through training, oversight, and enforcement may be legally held accountable.

Holding Companies Accountable for Driver Negligence

Victims of a commercial vehicle accident can take legal action to hold the driver’s company accountable. Two major legal theories play vital roles in this process: vicarious liability and negligent hiring/training/supervision.

 

Vicarious liability is defined as the company’s responsibility for accidents caused by employees while performing their duties. Negligent hiring claims imply the company should have previously evaluated the driver as unsafe.

 

Lawsuits can also allege negligent training and supervision if companies fail to implement safety protocols. Cases have resulted in multi-million dollar settlements for victims, especially when company policies directly contributed to the driver’s negligence.

 

Holding employers accountable for their negligence promotes justice, forces safety improvements, and provides victims and families compensation for the losses they have experienced. Experienced attorneys can help victims build strong cases to prove a company’s legal liability for their driver’s negligence.

Why Do Victims Need Legal Representation in Commercial Vehicle Accident Cases?

Navigating the legal process of a commercial vehicle accident can be exceedingly challenging. Trucking companies and insurers are prepared to defend themselves with legal resources to reduce liability. An experienced personal injury attorney will be able to stand against these pre-existing protocols.

 

Attorneys who have experience with transportation regulations and case law understand how to build strong arguments proving driver negligence and company responsibility. The resources they can provide to thoroughly investigate factors like driver training and history, vehicle maintenance, and company policies are invaluable.

 

These skilled negotiators can help you receive higher compensation settlements from insurers than unrepresented victims. Victims have powerful leverage to hold negligent parties fully accountable when a personal injury attorney represents them. Commercial vehicle crashes can be traumatic. You deserve not to have worries about the legal details.

Pursuing Justice and Accountability With Experienced Help From HHJ

Commercial vehicle accidents are overwhelming, but legal options exist to help make the process easier. Companies employing negligent drivers should be held accountable and can be proven liable with the appropriate legal help.

 

Experienced attorneys can build strong cases to prove driver and company negligence, leverage laws on vicarious liability, and more. If this tragedy strikes, legal options exist to help victims recover losses and work toward a positive outcome.

 

Contact our attorneys today if you have been injured in a commercial vehicle accident.

 

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