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Which Parties are Accountable In Truck Accidents?


Published in Personal Injury,truck accident on February 25, 2019.

Thousands of people are injured in trucking accidents every year. When an accident involves a commercial trucking vehicle, these accidents are often quite serious due to the size and weight of commercial trucks. A common question that accident victims may ask a Macon truck accident attorney is, “who can be held liable for a trucking accident?”

If an accident involves a commercial vehicle, the employer of the driver may be held liable for any damages resulting from an accident if the truck driver was acting within the scope of his or her employment when the accident occurred pursuant to a legal doctrine known as “respondeat superior,” which is also called vicarious liability. If the driver was taking an unforeseen detour or was commuting to or from work, the employer may not be held responsible, unless it can be proven that the driver was acting within the scope of his or her employment during the commute.

There are exceptions to vicarious liability. If a truck driver was an independent contractor at the time of an accident, the company that employed the driver may not be held liable. However, in some cases, it may be possible for a Macon truck accident lawyer to argue that the driver was really an employee of the company if they were paid regular wages, received benefits and were required to work regular shifts. Companies may label workers as independent contractors to shield the company from liability.

If a truck accident was caused by a manufacturing or design defect, the manufacturer and dealer of the vehicle may be held liable. A products liability lawsuit may be filed by a person who has been injured by a defective product.

In cases where products liability and vicarious liability do not apply, truck drivers may be held personally liable. The damages for most truck accidents are covered by insurance. If the driver’s own liability insurance coverage is not enough to cover damages such as medical bills and lost wages, many people can file a claim with their own insurance carrier if they have uninsured or underinsured coverage. A Macon truck crash lawyer can help truck accident victims understand what insurance coverage is available to them.

Truck accident victims who are seeking a Macon truck accident lawyer should contact Nelson & Smith to schedule a consultation. Hiring a Macon truck accident attorney can ensure that you maximize the chances that you will get the most compensation possible. Without the experience that the attorneys at Nelson & Smith have handling personal injury cases, it is exceedingly difficult to know what your case is worth. A Macon truck crash lawyer can also help accident victims avoid the stress and hassle that comes with negotiating with insurance companies.

Another important reason to consider hiring the attorneys at Nelson & Smith to represent you is that a common defense strategy to argue that a person who was injured in an accident was fully or partially responsible for the accident. A personal injury lawyer with experience handling truck accidents can present evidence to demonstrate that the defendant was at fault to maximize compensation for their clients.