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Who can be held liable for injuries in a truck accident?

Trucks are the transport method of choice for delivering goods and products all over the country, and drivers have to share the highways with trucks that, when laden with cargo, can weigh as much as 25 times the weight of an average car. This means that when accidents occur between large trucks and regular motor vehicles the damage inflicted by the truck on a typical car is usually more destructive, and many times will cause serious injuries and even fatalities.

Generally, in cases of this type, the burden to prove negligence on the part of the truck driver falls on the injured party. An injured party must show that the truck driver was negligent in how they operated their truck. Specifically, the injured party must show that the truck driver had a duty to exercise reasonable care while on the road, that the truck driver breached this duty, and the breach resulted in injury or harm.

In addition to the truck driver, the trucking company that employs the truck driver, as well as insurance companies, may also be named in any personal injury lawsuit stemming from a truck accident. However, for the trucking company to be named as a possible liable party, an employer-employee relationship must be shown.

An employer-employee relationship can be established if an injured party can show that the trucking company had some control over the truck driver, such as whether or not they had hiring and firing power, the truck driver's paycheck came from the company and that the accident occurred during the course of the employer-employee relationship. Furthermore, if the truck driver was carrying some kind of hazardous chemical, the manufacturer of that product may also be held liable. Due to the potential of multiple parties being involved in a truck accident, a trucking accident case can get complex.

Source: FindLaw.com, "Truck Accident Overview," accessed Aug. 25, 2014

Source: FindLaw.com, "Truck Accident Overview," accessed Aug. 25, 2014

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Law Office of Keith A. Hammond, P.C.

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