Liability in Denton Truck Accidents
After suffering harm from a collision with a commercial vehicle, you are likely focused primarily on your own physical recovery and figuring out how to pay for all of the medical bills incurred. However, if you plan on pursuing a civil suit, a critical factor will be determining who is legally responsible for the crash and your subsequent injuries.
Liability in Denton truck accidents can be difficult assign. You may assume the fault falls completely on the person who was operating the vehicle that hit you, but this is not always the case. While a truck driver may be partially to blame, other parties could also bear some of the responsibility for the incident. An experienced truck accident attorney could review the details of your case to determine what people or entities may be liable for paying monetary damages for your losses.
Truck Driver Liability
A reckless or careless truck driver can be held legally responsible for negligent actions that directly result in another person’s harm. Additionally, under Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code 33, a trucker is allowed to designate others as responsible third parties—such as a driver who cut the trucker off causing them to swerve into another lane of traffic, ultimately resulting in the wreck. This unidentified third party, if found to be partially responsible for the accident, could subsequently reduce the amount of restitution a person recovers from the trucker—no matter if the third party can ever be identified or pay their portion of fault.
Trucking Company Liability
In certain situations, the trucking company can also be held legally accountable for a crash. They may be found to be at fault if they violated any of their non-delegable duties, like if they forced once of their truckers to drive more hours in a set period of time than allowed by laws that limit the number of hours truckers are permitted to operate, resulting in the driver’s fatigue, and ultimately a wreck causing harm to someone else. Additionally, if the trucking company failed to review the driving logs, and the information was falsified, they could be considered an enabler and can be held responsible for the driver falling asleep at the wheel.
Even if the company did not directly act in a careless manner, they could still be liable for the trucker’s behavior alone under respondeat superior, a legal statute that holds an employer legally responsible for the wrongful actions of their employees.
Shipping Company Liability
A shipper may also have some liability in Denton truck crashes. When a third party hires a truck company to deliver certain goods, they have a duty, either by contract or under state law, to use care when selecting a business.
When hauling certain hazardous materials, there are specific licenses a truck company must have in order to legally transport those substances. If a shipper hires a trucking business and fails to ensure they have the proper legal documents to carry them, and an accident occurs, the shipping company could be held liable in court for violating their duty of care.
According to Texas Civ. Prac. and Remedies Code 33, the state recognizes a modified comparative negligence statute, which means that all people or entities involved in an accident are compared to determine fault. Thus, there are scenarios when multiple parties could be held liable for truck accidents in Denton.
If hauling hazardous materials without proper licensure, the shipper, the trucking company, and the trucker may all be held responsible in court for various reasons. The shipper and the trucking company would be liable for breaking their duty of care, and the trucker is liable for physically causing the wreck. Each party would be assigned a certain percentage of fault and would be required to pay that amount to the injured individual.
Enlist the Help of an Attorney to Determine Liability in Denton Truck Wrecks
Following a serious wreck, legal matters may be the last thing on your mind. However, seeking compensation for the harm you suffered could be key to covering your various medical expenses and treatments and any other losses you may have experienced, such as lost pay from taking time off work to recover.
Determining liability in Denton truck accidents is essential when pursuing a personal injury claim. A knowledgeable lawyer could investigate your case and thoroughly review all the evidence to uncover what parties are to blame for your injuries, and then hold them financially accountable. Contact our dedicated team of attorneys today to schedule a consultation.