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Can You Sue the Trucking Company After a Truck Accident?

A truck
Truck accidents can have very serious consequences, including severe injuries to the driver or passengers of any smaller vehicle involved. These accidents can also lead to the death of any occupant in the vehicle a truck has collided with.

In Nevada, you can sue the truck driver involved in the accident, but can you also sue the trucking company? The answer is yes. Although trucking accident lawsuits tend to be more complicated to win than a car accident claim.

You Must Prove Liability in a Truck Accident

In order to sue a trucking company after an accident, you need to prove liability on the company's part. This means, was the company in some way responsible for this accident happening? It is generally easier to prove that the driver is at fault based on witness accounts or camera footage of their driving. A lawyer can examine the data from the truck's black box and the driver's intent while behind the wheel.

However, the driver's actions may not be the only factor that contributed to the accident that day. For example, the maintenance of the truck can be called into question. This means some liability may fall to the truck's mechanic. This also means the truck's owner or leaser may be held liable if the vehicle is company owned.

The trucking company can be held liable if the driver is expected to work long hours with little rest. This expectation can create an unsafe environment and potentially have caused the accident to occur. The amount of freedom the driver has to perform their duties plays a part as well as if their work matches the job description they were hired for.

You Can Hold the Customer or Shipper Liable Too

In some cases, the trucking company might pass the liability on to their customer for the accident. This customer is the company whose goods the trucker was delivering at the time of the accident. This doesn't mean that you can't sue the trucking company; it just means that the goods company may also be named in the lawsuit.

The trucking company's shipper - if the goods are loaded at the manufacturer or supplier - may be held liable too. This could be due to improper loading of the cargo in the trailer. If the cargo is unevenly loaded, it could cause the trailer to turn over or drive erratically.

Trucking Company Is Held Liable If Driver Is an Employee

Not all truck drivers are employees of the companies they deliver for, but if they are, that company will be held liable for the accident instead of the driver. A lawyer can determine if the driver is not at fault for the accident by reviewing if the accident took place during the driver's working hours. Was the driver working for the benefit of the company? Was this drive part of the driver's work assignment?

A lawyer will take a look to see if the company followed the Commercial Driver's License Regulations or CDL on the driver in question. This ensures that the driver had proper training and was qualified to drive that vehicle.

They will also take a look at the driver's log book to make sure they were driving within the regulated hour duration they could drive - Nevada allows drivers to work for up to 11 hours before resting for at least 10 hours.

The trucking company will not be held liable for an accident if the driver was operating the truck on personal time - for example, if the driver was doing personal errands or on their lunch break.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a serious truck accident, the lawyers at Frank W. Thompson Attorney At Law Erwin & Thompson LLP are here to help you. Contact us today for a consultation.