A truck accident occurs between a truck and vehicle. They vehicle may be a passenger vehicle or another semi-truck. The individual or company liable for the accident must pay for all damages the accident victim or victims sustained. According to Texas personal injury law, they are required to pay because they negligently caused the accident. Before filing a lawsuit, Houston truck accident lawyers must determine who was at fault for the truck accident.
The Driver May be At-Fault for the Truck Accident
Many times people rightly assume the truck driver caused the accident and is liable. They may have ignored a traffic law. They may have been asleep or distracted while driving. If the truck driver is only at fault for the truck accident, the victim can sue them. However, an investigation may reveal that other people were at fault too.
The Trucking Business May be Responsible for the Truck Accident
Although truck drivers may be responsible, their employees may be solely or partly responsible because they own the trucks. They are responsible for supervising, training and hiring qualified drivers. Sometimes a trucking business may hire trained, qualified truck drivers, but violate a federal trucking law. For example, they may force a truck driver to operate a truck beyond the work hours allowed. Trucking companies also have a legal duty to maintain the trucks and inspect their fleets. If the business fails to do that and an accident happens, they are liable.
Other Companies Involved in the Trucking Business May be Involved in a Truck Accident
A truck manufacturer may be responsible for the truck accident. They may design or manufacturer a truck with a flaw in it. The design or manufacturing flaw causes the accident. Some examples of truck flaws are malfunctioning trailer hitches and defective tires. The truck driver and trucking company can’t be sued for the accident.
A cargo company may also be at fault. They are responsible for loading the truck with the products they driver will transport. They can’t put too much cargo in the truck because it will overload it. An overloaded truck will fall over and may cause an accident. If this happens, the cargo company can be sued by the accident victim.
Proving the Accused Party is Actually the At-Fault Party in a Truck Accident
Once it is determined who caused the accident, the truck accident can be settled or taken to trial. A settlement means the at-fault party and victim negotiate an agreement. In exchange for dropping the lawsuit, the victim agrees to drop the lawsuit. The money is paid in a lump sum or series of smaller payments. If the lawsuit goes to trial, the accident victim has the burden of proving the party sued caused the accident. This is done in a series of steps. For instance, they must prove the at-fault party had a legal duty to protect them from harm. The at-fault party breached that duty. The at-fault party caused the accident that led to the accident victim’s injuries. Lastly, the at-fault party must pay damages such as medical bills and lost wages.