Throughout the nation, commercial trucks like 18 wheelers share the roads with passenger vehicles every day. These highly trained individuals do a good job of avoiding collisions and helping keep the roads safe.
Nonetheless, commercial trucking accidents do happen and usually are devastating to all parties involved.
In any situation where a commercial truck is involved in an accident with a passenger vehicle, there is confusion on how to pursue damages. Who will pay for your injuries following a truck accident in Indiana?
Commercial Truck Accidents—Serious Consequences
The average commercial truck size and carrying load can exceed a passenger vehicle in weight by as much as 20 times. Consequently, you do not need much more information to understand which vehicle usually takes the brunt of the damage in commercial truck accidents.
Those that are lucky enough to survive a commercial truck accident in Indiana face additional problems. First, you should get medical treatment immediately if you sustained any injuries from the accident. Secondly, you will determine who is responsible for your injuries and any property damage to the vehicle.
Injured victims often struggle over who to pursue in a personal injury claim. Do you file a lawsuit against the driver or the company that owns the truck?
Motor vehicle accidents (MVA) in Indiana that include commercial trucks deserve special attention. As a result, you should contact a personal injury attorney to discuss the details of your case.
Stewart & Stewart is a local law office with years of experience. We also specialize in truck accidents, which gives us an edge over the competition. We have special expertise in this complex form of litigation. Contact us today at 1-866-926-2414.
Who Is Responsible for the Accident?
Auto accidents that involve commercial vehicles become more complex because the operator of one of the vehicles was on the clock during the time of the accident.
The legal doctrine of vicarious liability holds an employer liable for the actions of employees while on the clock. The law applies any time the employee is working and engaged in activities that benefit the employer. Thus, commercial trucks operating on the road fall under vicarious liability.
There are steps in the legal process of determining liability regarding a truck accident in Indiana. They are:
- The truck driver has an obligation to act in a reasonably safe way, following all rules and regulations intended for all motorists.
- Failure to uphold this obligation puts others in danger.
- The failure to uphold the obligation results in an accident, leading to injuries.
- The victim has since suffered damages because of the accident.
Consequently, the truck driver AND truck company are liable for your injuries if you can prove negligence. However, there may be exceptions when the operator owns the truck. There are other factors to consider, like the employment agreement between the trucking company and driver, along with the regularity of maintenance and repairs.
Pursuing Damages—Truck Driver vs. Trucking Company
If the driver and trucking company are potentially responsible for the MVA in Indiana, which one is more appropriate to target in a personal injury claim?
While it is usually more difficult to take on a large company compared to an individual, there is a benefit to pursuing the trucking company due to vicarious liability. For example, the amount of coverage an individual driver has on an insurance plan is likely far less compared to the company.
Additionally, if the accident was caused because of mechanic flaws or other issues that might extend beyond the control of the truck driver, the trucking company might offer a bigger payout for damages.
It is especially vital to pursue a company if the victim sustained a catastrophic injury like a traumatic brain injury or was killed in the accident. Most victims of commercial truck accidents require more in damages than the typical auto accident because of the severity of the crash.
Protect Yourself Before It’s Too Late!
Commercial truck accidents in Indiana are incredibly serious matters. Surviving family members may pursue a wrongful death claim in the most tragic accidents. If the victims are fortunate enough to survive, they likely have serious or life-threatening injuries as a result.
You deserve compensation for your injuries and emotional trauma. Stewart & Stewart can fight on your behalf while you recover. We have years of experience standing up to trucking companies that resist claims and attempt to downplay the severity of your losses.
The more evidence we can gather helps us build a strong case against corporate interests attempting to avoid paying damages. Do not stand up to these corporate interests on your own. Get a strong legal defense that understands the process and has a proven track record.
Contact Stewart & Stewart today for a free consultation at 1-866-296-2414.