Randallstown, MD Truck Accident Lawyer

Injuries from a truck accident can leave you out of work for a prolonged time.  This can interfere with your ability to support yourself and your family, but if the accident was not your fault, you should not have to bear this burden.

Lawsuits and insurance claims are often available to help you get reimbursed for lost wages, medical expenses, and other economic and non-economic damages you suffered in an accident.  Our attorneys can walk you through every step of the process, working to hold truck drivers and the companies they work for liable for your injuries.

Call (410) 694-7291 today for a free case review with Rice, Murtha & Psoras’ truck accident attorneys.

Holding Trucking Companies Liable for Randallstown, MD Truck Accidents

Trucking companies are often behind a truck driver’s mistakes, either by failing to hire safe drivers or by pushing their drivers into unsafe situations.  Even if the trucking company did nothing wrong, legally speaking, we might be able to hold them responsible in their capacity as the trucker’s employer.  Our truck accident lawyers can pursue damages against trucking companies in many cases to help victims find full compensation, even when the individual trucker might not have the funds to cover your injuries.

Vicarious Liability

As the truck driver’s employer, the trucking company should be held liable for their employee’s mistakes.  In the same way that you usually sue a store for a slip and fall rather than the worker who did not mop properly, you can sue trucking companies for their drivers’ mistakes behind the wheel.  This is possible under a “vicarious liability” rule known as “respondeat superior.”

Vicarious liability means holding one party liable for another party’s actions.  As the employer, a trucking company is often liable for any mistakes their employee made within the scope of their duties while working as an employee.  This means that if the driver was off-duty entirely and was going on a joyride in their truck, the accident should not be the trucking company’s fault.  Otherwise, our lawyers will fight to hold the trucking company liable for any crashes resulting from mistakes made or laws violated while driving for the trucking company.

Often, discerning the difference between what is and is not within the scope of the driver’s work duties will be the crux of your case.  For example, a trucker who crashes into you while pulling into a rest stop might seemingly be “on break,” but periodic breaks are a part of their employment duties.

Note also that there must be an employer-employee relationship.  This means that truckers hired as independent contractors might be their own bosses, and you cannot usually sue the company they are working for because they are not the driver’s “employer.”

Direct Liability

Trucking companies might also be responsible for their own mistakes that directly contributed to the trucking accident.  These usually come in the form of mistakes in hiring or retention of employees, maintenance or upkeep of their trucks, and other trucking regulatory violations.

If a trucking company hired a driver with a bad driving record, a history of DUI, or a history of vehicular assault, then they should be liable for the accidents that driver causes.  Similarly, if a trucking company has had complaints about a driver or the driver committed violations while employed at the company, they are on notice that the driver is dangerous and should not keep them on staff.  Negligent hiring and negligent retention are common grounds for suits against trucking companies.

Trucking companies also typically own the trucks their drivers use, and they are responsible for maintenance and upkeep.  Problems or mistakes with maintenance schedules or improper maintenance can make a trucking company liable.

Lastly, there are other regulations trucking companies must follow.  Some deal with driver certification, maintenance schedules, and equipment standards.  Others deal with hours of service rules and other limits on drivers.  If the trucking company itself violated these rules or pushed drivers to commit violations, they will often be at fault for the resulting truck crashes.

Holding Truck Drivers Liable for Crashes in Randallstown, MD

As mentioned, it is often better to include the trucking company in your case to make sure that there is a bigger company at the other end of your lawsuit.  Individual truckers might not be able to afford the accident, but their insurance should cover the crash.  In cases where the trucker is an independent contractor or owner-operator, you might have to hold them liable, as there is no trucking company behind them.

Truck drivers are typically held liable on the basis of what they did behind the wheel.  Speeding, drunk driving, distracted driving, tired driving, and even failing to signal before changing lanes are all explicit traffic violations that can form the basis of fault in a truck accident.  Additionally, other unsafe, unreasonable decisions can make them at fault, even if there is no specific statutory violation.  For example, failing to properly check their blind spots could put them at fault.

Truckers are also individually responsible for many of the maintenance, equipment, and hours of service rules they are supposed to follow.  Drivers who fail to use proper tie-downs and loading techniques, drivers who rely on unsafe tires, or drivers who keep driving beyond their legal limits could be found at fault for crashes they cause while violating these rules.

Damages for Injured Truck Accident Victims in Randallstown, MD

Victims of truck accidents could be entitled to economic and non-economic damages to cover a wide range of harms they face from the crash.

Damages for economic harms can cover your medical bills and vehicle repairs, but they can also cover so much more.  Any additional expenses you have to face – such as childcare while you are in the hospital or help with household tasks while you recover from injury – should be covered.  Additionally, the at-fault parties should reimburse you for any lost wages or lost earning capacity the accident causes you.

Damages for non-economic harms are typically grouped under the name “pain and suffering.”  This covers physical and mental effects, such as the injuries themselves, as well as the mental and emotional effects those injuries cause you.

Call Our Randallstown, MD Truck Accident Injury Attorneys Today

Contact Rice, Murtha & Psoras’ truck accident lawyers at (410) 694-7291 for a free review of your injury case.