Filing a lawsuit against a trucking company increases your chances of getting compensation after a truck collision. However, even if you sue a truck business, you still have to show that the company was negligent. To prove negligence, partner with a truck accident lawyer in Duluth, GA.
Barrios Virgüez is a Georgia personal injury law firm with a proven track record. If you want to sue a trucking company, our attorney will help you file your claim and get the most compensation possible. To get started, please reach out to us.
A Trucking Company Is Responsible for a Negligent Trucker’s Actions
The legal doctrine of “respondeat superior” applies to truck crash lawsuits. This doctrine states an employer can be held accountable for its employees’ actions. If an employee is negligent and causes someone to get hurt or killed, the worker and their business can both get sued.
Along with suing a trucking company based on the fact that its driver was negligent, you can request compensation if the business itself made mistakes that led to your crash and injury. There are many reasons why a judge or jury will award damages based on a truck company’s negligence. These reasons include:
- Hiring: If a trucker does not have a commercial driver’s license (CDL) or has a history of traffic violations, this individual poses a risk to themselves and other motorists.
- Vehicle Inspection and Maintenance: A trucking business must evaluate its vehicles and keep them running at peak levels at all times — if it does not, the company can be penalized if a truck defect leads to an accident.
- Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Violations: When a trucking business knows that a driver is violating FMCSA regulations and lets this individual keep working, the company can get sued for negligence.
There can be times when a trucker causes a crash, but you cannot sue the driver or their employer. For instance, a truck crash may be the result of a vehicle design defect, and to get damages, you will have to sue the manufacturer. Or, a truck collision may occur due to road hazards, and you will have to sue the municipality that was supposed to take care of the area to get compensation.
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Hours-of-Service Regulations Apply to Truck Drivers
FMCSA has hours-of-service regulations that limit the amount of time that truckers can spend behind the wheel. These regulations apply across the United States. They include the following restrictions:
- Driving Limit: There is an 11-hour driving limit after 10 consecutive hours of duty for truckers traveling in property-carrying vehicles and a 10-hour restriction after eight consecutive hours of duty for those traveling with passengers.
- Driving Break: For property-carrying vehicle drivers, they must take a 30-minute break when they have traveled for at least eight cumulative hours without any prior 30-minute interruptions.
- 60/70-Hour Limit: Truckers cannot drive after 60/70 hours on duty in seven/eight consecutive days, but a property-carrying truck driver is allowed to restart a seven/eight consecutive day period after taking 34 or more consecutive hours off duty.
Evidence and witness testimony will help you prove that a trucking company and its driver violated hours-of-service regulations and any other requirements. The team at Barrios Virgüez will work with you to gather evidence and testimony from witnesses to show that a trucker and their employer were negligent. To find out more, please get in touch with us.
Why Truck Accidents Happen Where a Trucking Company Is Responsible
Rules are in place that regulate truck drivers and companies. When truckers and their businesses violate these rules, accidents can happen. These incidents occur for many reasons, such as:
- Distracted Driving: A trucker can get distracted, take their eyes away from the road, and cause a crash that leads to a neck injury and other minor and major injuries.
- Fatigued Driving: If a driver has spent a long time behind the wheel without a break, they are prone to fatigue, which can cause them to lose concentration and get into an accident.
- Aggressive Driving: By driving aggressively, a trucker increases their chances of an accident that results in serious injuries or fatalities.
- Overloaded Cargo: When a trucker or their company overloads a truck, the vehicle is susceptible to a tip-over or roll-over.
- Alcohol or Drug Use: There is no excuse for a trucker to use alcohol or drugs and drive, and if this happens, the driver and their employer can be held responsible.
If you get hurt in a trucking crash that occurs for these reasons or any others, contact an Augusta truck accident attorney. Then, your lawyer learns about your case. They will determine who is responsible for your crash and file your claim accordingly.
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Damages that You Can Recover from a Trucking Company
If a truck company does not maintain its duty of care toward you and causes you to get hurt as a result, you can sue for compensation, per Georgia Code §51-1-6. You have the right to seek compensatory damages from the business. To secure compensation, you must show a judge or jury that the business was negligent, caused your accident and injury, and forced you to suffer losses.
A truck accident lawyer in Augusta works with you to build a body of evidence and find witnesses who can support your request for compensation. They will encourage you to request economic and non-economic damages. Some of the damages you can recover include:
- Medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
A truck accident attorney in Augusta calculates your losses and accounts for your short- and long-term damages. They will also discuss punitive damages, which may be awarded in conjunction with economic and non-economic compensation. A judge or jury will award punitive compensation to deter a trucking company or any other at-fault parties from future acts of negligence.
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File a Claim Against a Trucking Company
If you are unsure about whether to submit a claim against a trucking company, explore your legal options. Barrios Virgüez can connect you with a lawyer who will review your case and help you figure out who you can sue. Please contact us today to schedule a case consultation.