When truck driver negligence causes a commercial vehicle accident and resultant injuries, it could lead to filing a claim. However, the driver may not be the only party liable for the physical harm suffered. Another party that could be found responsible is the trucking company that hired the driver. Such issues can be addressed by a Denver truck accident attorney.
When can a trucking company be liable for truck driver negligence?
Respondeat superior is a legal principle in which an employer can be found accountable for the actions of an employee. The key to this is that it occurred during the employee’s scope of employment.
A Denver truck accident attorney will examine the relationship between the driver and company. It would need to be established that the truck driver was hired by the trucking company. Even if the driver was hired as an independent contractor, the trucking company may still hold liability if the driver causes injury to another driver in a commercial vehicle accident.
Types of Truck Driver Negligence
It’s important to first establish what constitutes negligence. Negligence occurs when the duty of care owed to someone else is breached. So in the case of a commercial vehicle accident involving a truck, the truck driver (and other drivers, for that matter) owes a duty of care to others who share the road.
A Denver truck accident attorney will examine whether that duty was breached because of carelessness or recklessness, in which case the driver could be considered negligent.
Violation of traffic laws is one type of negligence. When a truck driver speeds or disobeys traffic signals or signs, these actions could cause a serious truck accident.
Reckless driving is another type of negligence:
- excessive speeds;
- weaving in and out of traffic;
- tailgating; and
- driving while under the influence are some examples.
Fatigue can be a significant problem for drivers who travel long distances for hours at a time. If it’s found that a driver was sleepy or actually fell asleep because he or she violated the allowable numbers of hours behind the wheel as set forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Services Administration, this type of negligence could result in the trucking company also being liable.
Distracted driving is another type of negligence that may cause a commercial vehicle accident:
- eating or drinking;
- texting while driving;
- talking on a phone; and
- anything else that takes the driver’s focus off the road.
Damages for Injuries Sustained in a Truck Accident
A Denver truck accident attorney can evaluate the case to determine if truck driver negligence may have been the cause of the crash and if others, such as the trucking company, can be included in a claim. Then an attorney can help figure out the types of damages that may be available.
Generally this includes economic and noneconomic losses. Economic are those that have a specific value, such as medical costs or the amount of income lost while healing and recovering. Noneconomic losses address things such as pain and suffering, disability, mental anguish and more. These are the damages that don’t have a set value but compensation for which may be recovered.
D.J. Banovitz is a Denver truck accident attorney who can help an injured victim file a claim to recover damages from a commercial vehicle accident caused by truck driver negligence. Call 303-300-5060.