Who to Sue After a Truck Accident
When a person is involved in a truck accident, there are multiple potential reasons why it might have happened. Many of them can be attributable to driver error, meaning that the driver is the one who should, in theory, be liable. However, a truck driver may not always have the funds to be able to meet the amount of a jury award. It begs the question of whether it is worth the time to sue the driver or to seek compensation elsewhere.
Causes of Truck Accidents Are Disparate
Recent available data shows that approximately 4,400 large trucks and buses were involved in fatal accidents nationwide in 2016, with as many as 73 percent of those crashes being at least partially initiated by encroachment into the truck’s path. However, if one breaks down those stats, one will see a host of different events that may play a role in truck crashes - distraction, substance abuse, reckless driving, lack of sleep or otherwise poor reaction times, and so on. In addition, there are multiple other potential causes that can be attributed to other actors besides driver error, such as poor road maintenance.
Most of the time, the truck driver will be the one at fault for your injuries if you did not cause them yourself. However, truck drivers do not generally make much money or carry many personal assets in their own names - driving a truck is not a profession in which one makes enough money to be able to withstand most civil judgments. Thus, if you were to only bring suit against the driver for any injuries you suffered, you might wind up with no compensation at all because the driver may be judgment proof (too poor to pay a judgment).
Other Possible Legal Theories
Texas law does allow other defendants to be brought into this type of lawsuit, depending on the specific facts of your situation. Truck drivers generally carry insurance to guard against this type of problem, so it may be possible to reach their insurance policy (either a personal policy or one obtained by their employer) in order to seek compensation even if the driver themselves may be judgment proof.
In addition, it is often possible to hold the truck driver’s employer liable for your injuries, though there are many possible methods by which to do so. Texas law recognizes the concept of vicarious liability, also called respondeat superior, which means that an employer can be found liable for the tortious acts of their employees while performed within the scope of employment (in other words, when it can be found that the employer had substantial control over the employee’s actions). If you are in a truck accident, and it can be at least suggested that it was due to the negligence of the driver, you may be able to reach the trucking company as a defendant because negligence is considered a tortious act.
Call a Truck Accident Lawyer Now
Trucking accidents can cause significant amounts of harm, and if a truck driver has been negligent, it is your right to try and obtain compensation for any injuries you have suffered. The dedicated New Braunfels truck accident lawyers at the Bettersworth Law Firm can help answer your questions, and try to guide you down the path that is right for you and your family.