Can You Sue a Truck Driver’s Employer After an Accident?

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If you have passed  by a truck accident, you know how dangerous they can be. It’s hard to even watch. Our Charlotte accident lawyers have represented more than our fair share of truck accident victims. Many of them suffer life-threatening injuries. Others are out of commission for a year or longer. This is why it’s so important that you hire a Charlotte injury attorney to pursue the truck driver. But the problem is that it can be hard to determine exactly who you should sue.

What we recommend is that you talk to a Charlotte accident lawyer as soon as possible after your crash. Not only do you need to file your insurance claim within a certain period of time, but you also need to preserve the evidence. If our Charlotte injury attorney is going to prove your case and get you damages, they need this evidence. The longer you wait to talk to an attorney, the greater the risk that the evidence goes stale, disappears, or is destroyed.

All you have to do is call our office and schedule your free, initial consultation. Sit down with one of our lawyers and explain what happened. We’ll help you determine who you need to pursue: the truck driver, their employer or a third party. Our Charlotte accident lawyer can also give you an idea of what your case is worth. Since the consultation is free, you have nothing to lose.

Before You Sue Anybody, Your Charlotte Accident Lawyer Must Prove Fault

It doesn’t matter who you sue if you can’t prove the truck driver was at fault. The only way they will be liable is if you can prove negligence. This is the only way their employer will be liable as well. One good thing is that commercial drivers are held to a higher standard than regular drivers. If your Charlotte accident lawyer can prove that they violated one of these federal regulations, it will help them prove fault.

Some of the federal regulations that the truck driver must adhere to include the following:

  • They can only drive 11 hours in any given day
  • The driver must take at least one half-hour break per 8-hour shift
  • The driver must maintain service records and driving logs

If the driver failed to do any of these things, it can be used against them.

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Ideally, the Insurance Company for the Driver or Their Employer Will Pay Your Claim

In most cases, either the truck driver or their employer’s insurance company will pay your claim. As long as your claim is relatively small, it makes more sense for them to pay the claim than spend thousands of dollars fighting it. However, there’s always the chance that either or both of the insurance carriers will deny your claim. They could do this for a variety of reasons, including:

  • The truck driver was using the company’s truck without permission
  • You hit the trucker from behind
  • You have a history of filing auto insurance claims
  • The evidence makes it look like you were partially at fault
  • They believe the amount of your claim is excessive

For any of these reasons, your Charlotte injury attorney can file an appeal. If this doesn’t work, you’ll have no choice but to file a lawsuit. If this is the case, you may need to pursue multiple parties. One way to look at it is that, the more people you name in your lawsuit, the better your odds of winning or settling for a fair amount. Now, keep in mind, your Charlotte accident lawyer cannot name someone in your complaint unless there is reason to believe they were at fault. You can’t name random people and companies and hope they don’t respond.

You’ll Have to Name Multiple Defendants in Your Complaint

Normally, if you were involved in a motor vehicle accident, you would pursue the person driving the other car. You would file a claim against their insurance and, if need be, sue them for damages. With a truck accident, it’s a lot more complicated.

Obviously, your Charlotte accident lawyer will name the truck driver in the complaint. If they carry personal auto insurance, they will name their insurance carrier as well. They will also name the driver’s employer in the complaint. Business owners are vicariously liable for the actions of their employees. In other words, if someone who works for you gets into a car accident, you’ll be held liable. Logically, you would also have to name the company’s auto insurance carrier and their general liability insurance carrier.

If your Charlotte injury attorney feels that there was a defect with the truck or the load the driver was carrying, there is another option. In addition to the trucker and their employer, you can also sue the company that services the truck. If they have recently serviced the vehicle and did something wrong, they can be held liable as well.

Your Charlotte Accident Lawyer Will Do Their Best to Get You Justice

If you or your loved one are injured in a truck accident, there’s a good chance you’ll be entitled to damages. Ideally, the insurance company will pay your claim. As long as your Charlotte accident lawyer can prove that the trucker was at fault, you shouldn’t have any problem. Unfortunately, it’s rarely that cut and dry. The defendant’s attorney will argue that you caused the crash. At a minimum, they’ll say that you were partially at fault. Your Charlotte injury attorney will have to submit evidence to prove that the truck driver was at fault. They’ll also have to submit proof of your damages. This isn’t as easy as it sounds.

We recommend that you call our office and speak with one of our Charlotte accident lawyers. You can schedule your free, initial consultation over the phone or through our website. This gives you a chance to have your case reviewed by an experienced Charlotte injury attorney who has handled dozens of cases like yours before. They’ll answer any questions you may have. They will also give you an idea of what your case is worth. You know the truck driver and their employer are going to have a team of lawyers working for them and you should too.