When is a Trucking Company Liable for Damages?
Collisions involving commercial semi-trucks, tanker trucks, flatbed trucks, and 18-wheelers typically cause a much greater degree of damage than accidents involving smaller vehicles. If you or someone you care about was recently involved in a truck accident, you may be interested in seeking monetary damages through an injury claim. The liable party, or the party responsible for paying damages, may be the truck driver, the trucking company, the party who incorrectly loaded truck cargo, or even a third party such as a manufacturing company. In this blog, we will explore how a trucking company or carrier may be liable for a truck crash.
The Trucking Company May Be Liable for Accidents Caused by Driver Error
When a truck driver is an employee of a trucking company, the truck driver may be liable for damages if an accident is caused by truck driver error. Truckers may fall asleep at the wheel, use an electronic device while driving, speed, and make other unsafe choices at the wheel that endanger the lives of other motorists. Traditionally, the trucking company is ultimately responsible for negligent driving. However, Texas House Bill 19, which was recently passed by the Texas Legislature, will limit trucking company liability. The bill goes into effect on September 1, 2021.
After September 1, truck accident victims will need to demonstrate evidence of “grossly negligent” actions in order to successfully sue a trucking company for an accident caused by an employee. If there is not sufficient evidence of grossly negligent behavior, liability may fall to the truck driver himself or herself.
The legislation shifts more of the burden of proof onto the plaintiff in a truck accident lawsuit. If you were injured or a loved one was killed in a truck accident, it is more important than ever to work with a truck accident lawyer who understands how to find compelling evidence and build a persuasive case.
Trucking Company Negligence
Trucking companies may also be liable for damages if the company failed to adhere to federal and state regulations, and this noncompliance led to the accident. For example, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and Texas law limit the number of hours that drivers can drive without a rest break. Some trucking companies may encourage or even force drivers to violate these laws. A trucking company may also be liable for damages if negligent hiring practices or inadequate truck maintenance and/or inspections led to the accident.
Contact a New Braunfels Truck Wreck Lawyer
If you or a loved one were hurt in a truck crash, a truck accident injury claim may help you hold the liable party accountable for your damages as well as recover financial compensation. To learn more, contact a Texas truck injury lawyer at the Bettersworth Law Firm. Call 830-606-0404 for a free consultation.