Is the Truck Driver or Trucking Company Liable for My Accident?

Trucking Company Liable for My Accident

Written by Jeremy D. Earle, JD

March 17, 2023

Who is Responsible for Paying my Truck Accident Settlement?

In Colorado, commercial vehicles are an important part of the intrastate and interstate supply network. Although these cars have monetary worth, they also represent a serious risk to other drivers. If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident in Colorado Springs, Colorado, our Colorado Springs truck accident attorneys can assist you in recovering compensation. Calhoun, Meredith, & Sims’ goal is to obtain the most money possible for your crash-related damages. To book a free consultation, call us now.

Commercial truck accidents are different from other types of traffic accidents in that they usually result in significant property damage. This is due to the enormous size difference between a truck and a passenger car.

A truck normally sustains little to no damage in the case of a collision. In contrast, you might sustain significant to severe injuries, such as amputations, shattered bones, spinal cord injuries, and head or brain trauma. Negligence may result in a deadly truck collision in several instances.

With the aid of a truck accident attorney, you may claim damages against the negligent truck driver, truck companies, truck manufacturers, or any third party. Here are some examples of events and scenarios in which you may be able to hold the trucking firm liable for your damages.

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Why is it necessary to hold the trucking company accountable?

Truck driver recklessness is to blame for the majority of truck accidents in Colorado. Distracted driving, intoxicated driving, speeding, and other activities that endanger other drivers on the road are examples of such carelessness. As a result, a truck accident lawsuit is brought against the truck driver first. Because the driver’s fault is simpler to establish, you are more likely to be compensated for a truck collision.

Truck accidents, on the other hand, are often fatal. Truck accident victims may suffer injuries ranging from serious to catastrophic, as well as long-term suffering, which may need lifetime assistance and support. Other losses, such as property damage and missed pay, may also be incurred.

You may submit a claim for such damages with the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier. However, the truck driver may have just the bare minimum of liability insurance, which will certainly not cover all of the losses. This is the time to include the trucking business as a responsible party and pursue damages under the firm’s insurance coverage.

It’s vital to remember that you can only get compensation from the trucking company’s insurance provider after you’ve exhausted the coverage of the at-fault truck driver. The trucker may be found accountable in the majority of commercial car accidents.

In the instance of purposeful carelessness, you may additionally wish to hold the firm liable for punitive damages. Here are some examples of how you may hold the trucking company accountable, as well as some circumstances that demonstrate the trucking firm’s carelessness.

Is a Colorado trucking company responsible for a truck accident? When Can a Trucking Company Be Held Responsible?

An entity in the trucking sector may be held accountable for truck accident casualties either directly or indirectly. When a firm is found to be directly liable for an accident, it means that the company was negligent in some way. For example, the corporation is liable if it is responsible for maintaining its fleet, yet a brake failure causes a truck collision.

When a firm is deemed vicariously accountable for a commercial car accident, this is known as vicarious responsibility. This is due to a legal principle known as respondent superior,’ which means ‘let the master answer.’ In most truck accidents, a trucker may be held vicariously accountable for the truck driver’s carelessness.

This is because the driver is a trucking business employee or legal agent. Because the firm is responsible for recruiting and managing the drivers, any errors or irresponsible behavior by the drivers may be traced back to the corporation.

If a motorist is drunk and causes a truck accident, the driver is clearly to blame. However, if the firm hires a driver who has a drug addiction issue, the corporation might be held vicariously accountable.

In any instance, you’ll need relevant documentation, including medical records, employment records, witness testimonies, and the accident’s accident report to back up your claim.

Negligence by trucking companies is one example of this.

Negligence on the part of a trucking firm may take several forms. In many cases, you may believe that the driver is responsible, but in reality, the firm is. Here are some examples of accidents involving a trucking company’s irresponsibility.

Violations of the Hours of Service Rules

Colorado law requires all truck drivers to take an eight-hour break before starting a shift. The shift itself must be limited to no more than 12 hours of driving in a row. In addition, federal laws on working hours apply. If a trucking business fails to adhere to these deadlines and a collision happens, the firm may be held accountable.

Inadequate Hiring and Supervision

Any commercial driver hired by a trucking firm must have all of the required driving certifications. It must also do background checks to verify that a motorist has no prior drug or alcohol addiction history.

In addition, the organization is responsible for overseeing the drivers ensure that they follow all applicable rules and regulations. The firm might be held personally liable if there is carelessness in employing or overseeing the drivers.

Familiarity with traffic violations

Trucking businesses are occasionally found breaking state and federal commercial car restrictions. Failure may be intentional, such as when truckers tamper with logbooks to enable drivers to travel longer than they are permitted. A corporation may also set unreasonable deadlines for its drivers, causing them to work excessive hours, tiredness, and eventually cause an accident.

Negligence in cargo loading

A cargo loading trucking firm must also verify that the cargo is safe and does not exceed the specified weight and volume restrictions for various kinds of cargo. Any resultant collision will be regarded as the consequence of the company’s carelessness if the car is overloaded or the cargo is not securely secured.

Maintenance of trucks. A corporation that owns commercial vehicles is also in charge of regular car inspection and maintenance. If any repairs are required, they must be completed as soon as possible. If the firm fails to do its duty and a car breakdown causes a collision, the company will certainly be held accountable.

These are just a few examples of how a trucking company’s carelessness might result in a truck accident. An expert truck accident lawyer can analyze your specific case if you have a solid personal injury claim against the trucking firm.

When is a trucking company’s liability limited?

If it can be shown that the truck driver was acting outside the scope of their work, the trucking business cannot be held liable under the vicarious responsibility concept. For example, if the truck driver used the truck for a personal trip, the firm is not responsible if the car and driver are on a personal trip.

Similarly, before you mention the trucking business as a co-defendant in a probable personal injury case for damages, you must show that the driver is a firm employee. You may not hold the firm accountable if the driver is an owner-operator who owns the car but works for the company under a contract or is categorized as an independent contractor.

The question of guilt, on the other hand, differs from one truck collision to the next. Even if your truck accident includes one of the instances listed above, a Colorado Springs truck accident lawyer can help you determine if the driver may be held liable for other types of carelessness.

Why Hire a Truck Accident Lawyer in Colorado Springs?

In a Colorado Springs truck accident, as previously stated, many parties may be held guilty. In rare situations, more than one person may be held responsible for a particular accident.

You may be entitled to non-economic damages for bodily suffering and mental agony, as well as punitive damages in circumstances where purposeful negligence, malice, or recklessness might be shown.

This is why, before filing a truck accident lawsuit or claim, you must get competent legal counsel. A skilled personal injury lawyer will first assist you in identifying the irresponsible party or parties responsible for your losses.

After that, the lawyer will work with you to collect evidence and make insurance claims for financial compensation. Trucking accident attorneys may also assist you in filing a lawsuit and take your claim to court if a commercial trucking firm denies your claim.

This is exactly what Calhoun, Meredith, & Sims provides. We want to help you get a fair truck accident compensation that covers all of your damages. We also guarantee that any insurance payout you get is fair and does not underpay your claim with our significant knowledge. Contact us right now to speak with one of our attorneys about your case.

Assume you’re traveling along Interstate 25 when you’re critically injured by a semi-truck hauling drinks for a huge firm. The beverage brand is visible on the truck, and you can tell the truck driver is new to the job and will never be able to repay you for the catastrophic injuries you received in the collision.

However, you can be certain that the truck collision occurred because the driver was not paying attention, not because the car had a technical problem. As a result, do you have a case against the beverage corporation in Colorado for your injuries, or is the truck driver solely responsible for your compensation?

Accidents involving trucks while on the job

According to a founding premise of American law, employers are typically responsible for supervising their workers’ conduct and behavior while they are “in the course of employment,” according to a founding premise of American law. Respondeat superior is the term for this idea.

For example, if the beverage business owned the truck and the driver was an employee of the beverage company, you could normally hold the beverage corporation accountable for your injuries.

If, on the other hand, the beverage business contracted with a separate trucking firm to carry its products and the truck driver worked for that trucking company, you could only be able to hold the private trucking company responsible, rather than the beverage company.

But what if the driver owned the truck and hired a private driver to deliver food to a nearby store? To decide whether the driver was an independent contractor in this situation, your attorney would have to consider the following factors:

Whether this is the driver’s primary career

Whether the sort of job normally necessitates supervision

The degree of ability necessary

Who owns the truck

The duration of the connection between the parties

How the firm compensates the truck driver

You may not pursue a party just utilizing the truck driver to convey products if the truck driver is discovered to be an independent contractor. Suppose the parties, on the other hand, have an employment connection. In that case, you may be able to hold both the irresponsible driver and the employer responsible for your injuries and lost income.

Colorado Shared Liability and Comparative Fault

If you were hurt in a truck accident and seek compensation from many parties, you need to know how the parties share the blame. In most cases, an employer may be held accountable for your injuries to the same amount as the negligent employee, but there are certain exceptions.

For example, if a truck driver violates federal transportation standards and business policy by driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol, the driver’s employer may attempt to avoid accountability.

However, the trucking firm may be held liable for the negligent recruiting and/or training of its employees. In this case, the jury must establish who bears what amount of guilt by evaluating the parties’ comparative blame. The state of Colorado uses a “pure comparative fault” method.

“Contributory blame charged to the claimant reduces proportionally the amount granted as economic and non-economic damages for a harm attributable to the claimant’s contributory fault but does not prohibit recovery,” according to Colorado law.

In other words, if a jury determines that the truck driver was 80 percent to blame for the accident, the employer was 10% to blame for negligent hiring, and you were 10% to blame for speeding, you may collect 90% of your losses.

The state of Colorado, on the other hand, has eliminated “joint and several” responsibilities. This ancient legal theory enabled you to pick who you wanted to collect the entire amount of damages from.

If a jury finds that you are 10% at fault for your injuries, the truck driver is 80% at fault for conduct outside the scope of employment. The trucking company is 10% at fault for negligent entrustment of the truck to the driver; you can only recover 10% of your damages from the trucking company.

If you have been injured in a truck accident in Colorado, you may be entitled to compensation.

Truckers and trucking businesses often carry commercial motor car insurance with large coverage limits, particularly if the truck transports hazardous commodities. Before bringing the matter to a Colorado court, your Colorado personal injury and truck accident attorney will usually try to get compensation for you by filing a claim with the responsible insurance company. You are normally entitled to damages for:

  • Medical costs
  • Medical equipment
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Lost pay
  • Lost earning ability
  • Loss of spousal support
  • Pain and suffering if you seek compensation.

After a traumatic Colorado truck accident, speak with your injury lawyer about the best strategy to pursue compensation.

To Discuss Your Case, Contact a Colorado Springs Truck Accident Attorney.

There is a significant difference between a motorbike accident and one involving a heavy car. In most cases, the truck and the irresponsible driver will experience less damage than you, but you will be left to bear the brunt of the negligent driver’s actions simply because you lack the height and weight of an 18-wheeler to protect you.

Remember that an employer is often accountable for injuries caused by its workers while they are doing their jobs, and this is usually the case while driving a truck on the road. Warrior Truck Accident Lawyers can assist you in analyzing the facts of your case and explaining your financial recovery alternatives under Colorado law. For a no-obligation consultation, visit their website or call 719-300-1100.

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