The ramifications of a truck accident can be tremendous. The injuries suffered can be catastrophic, but even those who suffer comparatively moderate injuries can still suffer extensively. The physical and emotional pain and suffering involved in these instances can be overwhelming, and the financial losses can be devastating. As a result, truck accident victims often find themselves amidst despair, worried that their future is bleak.
But this doesn’t have to be the case. When a truck accident is caused by the negligence of another, then a personal injury lawsuit may be justified. But there are some things that you need to keep in mind when pursuing one of these claims. Let’s look at a few of them.
- Vicarious liability: Succeeding on a personal injury lawsuit against an individual trucker may lead to a financial award, but whether that trucker is actually able to pay for the full extent of damages caused to you is another question. This is simply because trucker oftentimes don’t have extensive resources that they can pull from to pay you. Fortunately, under the legal theory of vicarious liability, a trucker’s employer may be held accountable for the trucker’s negligent actions. Therefore, if you can prove vicarious liability, then you might be able to reach into a larger pool of resources that are much more likely to fully compensate you for the harm that you have suffered.
- Vicarious liability defenses: Vicarious liability might sound pretty straightforward, but truck companies often aggressively defend against these claims. These companies have many defense at their disposal. In many instances, these companies try to argue that the trucker in question was engaged in some sort of frolic or detour, meaning that he or she was operating outside the scope of his or her employment at the time of the accident. Texting and driving, taking an unauthorized route, and even deviating from an approved course for to fulfill a personal responsibility can all support these defenses. A truck company might also try to shift the liability to a third-party.
- Proportionate responsibility: Regardless of who you sue, you need to be aware of Texas’s proportionate responsibility Under this law, your recovery can be reduced in accordance with the proportion of fault allocated to you. Therefore, a $100,000 award will be reduced to $60,000 if you’re found to be 40% at fault. If you’re found to be more than 50% at fault, then you’ll be barred recovery altogether.
- The use of experts: Expert testimony can be an important part of your case. Accident reconstruction can help you show who is responsible for the accident in question, thereby assisting you in establishing liability. But you might also need an expert to speak as to the damages portion of your case, including your prognosis and your need for future treatment. You’ll also need to be prepared to aggressively cross-examine any experts the other side might put forward.
Be detailed when approaching your claim
To maximize your chances of succeeding on your claim, you need to be detailed and holistic, taking the issues mentioned above and others into consideration. You should have a deep understanding of the law and how it applies to your case, and you need to know how to build compelling legal arguments that can support your position during negotiations and at trial. This can be more challenging than it sounds, especially given that these cases can be fraught with nuances and juries can be unpredictable.
That’s why it’s often best for truck accident victims to work with an attorney who is skilled and experienced in this area of the law. If you think that you could benefit from this kind of representation, then now may be the best time to reach out to a firm that you think is right for you.