When the unthinkable happens,
We're here to Help

Who Is Liable In A Commercial Vehicle Accident – The Driver Or The Company?

Latest News

Imagine you’re driving back from a family reunion and, out of the blue, struck by a commercial vehicle. The devastation instantly sets in, but soon after follows confusion: who is liable for such an accident- the commercial truck driver or their employer? As someone affected by such an unfortunate event, it is essential to know where responsibility lies. Having a qualified truck accident lawyer could make all the difference.

If you or a loved one was injured in an accident with a commercial truck in Texas, call Oberg Law today at 972-682-9700  for a free consultation with a Texas truck accident attorney. Gregg Oberg is Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Protect your rights and explore your legal options with our legal guidance. 

The Question of Liability in Commercial Vehicle Accidents

In a perfect world, any mishap would unfold without ambiguity about who’s at fault. But we don’t inhabit that idyllic sphere – particularly regarding potential legal tangles following commercial truck accidents. At first glance, one might assume liability naturally falls onto the driver causing the crash; however, the law says otherwise, and big rig wrecks do not rest squarely on their shoulders alone.

According to “Respondeat Superior,” a Latin phrase which translates as ‘Let the master answer,’ employers are held liable for actions performed within the scope of an employee’s job, subsequently making them responsible for damages associated with those activities, even road incidents committed while driving a commercially operated truck (also referred as vicarious liability).

Vicarious Liability Explained

When applied lawsuits resulting in truck crashes, here’s how Vicarious Liability plays out: 

  • Suppose a company-employed driver adhered to employer procedures when the collision occurred. In that case, the firm is legally responsible for outcomes that occurred roadside calamity irrespective of the driver being negligent party not.

  • Consider these factors when navigating the aftermath of significant situations because determining accountability in truck accident isn’t always straightforward.

Thus, employing the services of a competent truck accident lawyer allows for traversing complexity better, ensuring rightful justice-seeking compensation due to misfortune.

Company Truck or Leased Truck – Does It Make Any Difference?

  • Ownership does indeed draw a line in the sand – mainly if the vehicle involved isn’t directly owned. The accident causes employers to stance companies to lease independent owners/operators, leading to further muddy waters.

  • Although many individual owners/operators retain autonomy control, they may follow closer guidelines dictated by the leasing company, hence widening net liability’s ever-stretching arms.

Despite the legalities, fear not! Here are three crucial steps to take following a commercial truck incident:

  1. Seek medical attention – even if it appears initially minor

  1. Report the incident promptly with all pertinent details

  1. Consult an experienced truck accident lawyer before any communication with insurance companies

Finding The Right Legal Support

Finding appropriate legal guidance during this stressful time is vital. When looking for a suitable truck accident lawyer, consider factors such as their approach – Do they treat you as an individual rather than just another case? Are they reliable and timely in response? And most importantly, do they have experience dealing professionally with similar cases?

FAQs about Commercial Vehicle Accident Liability:

  1. What Does “Scope of Employment” Mean? 

Scope employment refers to duties and tasks employees are expected to carry out during job hours. This includes driving for work-related purposes, i.e., delivering goods and making service calls.

  1. Can I Sue the Truck Driver After An Accident?

Yes, parties, including the driver, are held liable for the crash, though it depends on specific circumstances around the event, ideally should a competent truck accident lawyer.

  1. How Do I Determine Whether the Company is at Fault?

Again, it hinges on several variables, such as whether the driver was within his/her employment scope responsible for maintaining vehicle conditions, etc, that a knowledgeable commercial vehicle accident attorney can better check.

  1. Can It Ever Be Both Driver and Company’s Fault?

Absolutely! Multiple parties could be joint responsibility accidents, which may involve the employer, driver, or even vehicle manufacturer times.

  1. What If The Driver Was Under the Influence While Driving?

In this instance, the direct fault goes towards the driver, but if it can be proven that the company failed to conduct proper background checks before hiring or ignored signs of substance abuse, they too could face legal consequences.

Work with a Truck Accident Lawyer in Texas 

Remember, navigating through the aftermath of a commercial truck accident can be complicated. Knowing where liability lies is a crucial aspect of your case. It’s not an easy journey, but with the appropriate guidance from a truck accident lawyer, you can make headway despite hurdles encountered along the route justice compensation deserves.

Call us at 972-682-9700 for a comprehensive legal consultation, or visit Oberg Law to learn how we can help you get the justice and compensation you’re entitled to. Gregg Oberg is Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Take the first step today – we’re here to support you every step of the way.

Related Articles

What Causes Truck Crashes?

Read More

State Fair Safety Tips – It’s Here!!!

Read More

Importance Of Witnesses & Evidence

Read More