Recently, one man was killed when his Honda Accord collided with a large Penske truck on Medical Drive, near Babcock Road. The small car became wedged under the truck, and the driver was pronounced dead at the scene. The truck driver was unharmed, though his vehicle sustained significant damage. If you or one of your loved ones is involved in a crash like this with a large truck, it can feel like you have no options, especially if there is evidence to suggest that you played a role in your own injuries. However, it may still be possible to recover depending on the specific situation.
Accidents Involving Trucks Can Be Severe
Accidents involving large trucks, unfortunately, can be the cause of extensive injury due to the size of these vehicles. An accident involving two cars, or a car and a pickup truck, will often lead to injuries, but neither vehicle has the significant advantage in size or weight most of the time; a large rental truck like the Penske truck, however, has the potential ability to crush a small automobile like a Honda Accord, and obviously, the potential injuries to the driver can be life-threatening. Texas recorded approximately 600 fatal crashes involving large trucks and truck/tractors in 2018.
There are several reasons why accidents involving large trucks happen, despite safety training and strict federal regulations on commercial drivers. Sometimes, of course, an automobile driver will drive recklessly or negligently and totally or wholly cause their own injuries. However, some cases do involve dangerous behavior on the part of truck drivers. For example, it is more common than most people are aware of for truck drivers to drive longer hours than recommended by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), and that type of fatigue is a serious factor in accidents. Every case is different and requires a dedicated investigation.
How Many Defendants?
Something that many accident victims may not be aware of is that if you have been injured by someone who is on the job – the legal term is “acting within the scope of employment” – it may be possible to sue not only the employee, but also the employer. In the case of the Medical Drive accident, this would apply if a Penske employee was moving the truck or driving it to a client for their employer’s purposes, but would not apply if the driver was a private citizen who had rented the truck. Suing an employer due to an action committed by their employee is referred to as vicarious liability or respondeat superior.
This can be a good idea in a truck accident because very often, a truck driver will be judgment-proof (that is, they may not have enough assets to satisfy a judgment made against them). Their employer may not be, however, and if it can be shown that their employee committed a tort while engaged in business for that employer, they are on the proverbial hook for any damages caused by that action. Texas law rationalizes that it is simply good public policy to make employers liable for the negligence of the employees they unleash on the public.
Contact Our New Braunfels Truck Accident Lawyers Today
While the Penske truck driver does not appear to have engaged in any negligent conduct, the situation may be very different if you are involved in an accident with a large truck. The skilled New Braunfels truck accident attorneys at the Bettersworth Law Firm understand how high the stakes are in this type of case, and will work hard to get you the compensation you deserve. Call our office today at 888-392-0039 for a free consultation.