When truck accidents happen, victims are often shocked, upset, confused, angry, and many other things after such a sudden and usually violent change in their life circumstances. This is to say nothing of the incredibly nasty injuries that often happen as a result of truck accidents. Such injuries will very likely be incredibly expensive to treat, to the point that even very comprehensive health insurance may not be adequate. Moreover, victims of truck accidents are often looking for justice to be done against those who seriously injured them from an accident that could have been avoided if people simply did their job correctly.
When victims look to become plaintiffs in a truck accident lawsuit, they may be wondering what their odds of success are when they file their claims. Unfortunately, there is no catch-all answer to say what a generic plaintiff’s chances of success are in a truck accident lawsuit. Each case is unique, and that makes it impossible to give a concrete answer as to what anyone’s odds are of winning a truck accident lawsuit.
To get help with your truck accident matters, call Rice, Murtha & Psoras’s Maryland truck accident lawyers at (410) 694-7291 for a free analysis of your situation.
When to Sue a Trucking Company in a Maryland Truck Accident Lawsuit
One of the ways to improve your chances of success in a truck accident lawsuit is to make sure that you are suing the right people who are responsible for your injuries. In a civil trial, which means any lawsuit that is not a criminal trial, you have to prove that the defendant is liable for your injuries. If you sue the wrong person, company, or entity, you will not be able to prove that the defendant is liable and, thus, unable to get any damages. For that reason, it is important to ensure that suing a trucking company is the right move for your particular truck accident lawsuit.
Suing Trucking Companies Because of Bad Drivers
One of the most frequent reasons that trucking companies are sued is because one of their employees did something bad, and the trucking company is responsible for their employees. The legal term for this principle is called “respondeat superior,” which simply means “let the master answer.” The idea is that employers are very often in a better position to meet the needs of the plaintiff than their employees, so the plaintiff is allowed to go after the employer rather than merely getting a win against an employee who can’t help them financially in any event.
A way that this can happen is if the trucking company partakes in negligent hiring practices. Negligent hiring is when an employer hires somebody they know or should know is not qualified to do the job.
You can sue a trucking company on a theory of negligent hiring if you can prove that the trucking company hired a truck driver who lacked some of the skills or prerequisites to drive a large commercial truck. As a standard prerequisite, truckers are required to have a commercial driver’s license that corresponds to the type of truck that they are driving. If, for example, a trucking company hires an unlicensed driver to cut costs or simply neglects to see whether a prospective truck driver is licensed or not, it can be considered negligent hiring, and you could have a claim against the trucking company if the driver does something negligent.
Another way that you may be able to pin liability on a trucking company is if they are treating workers in such a way that it makes it unsafe for others. Trucking companies live and die by how consistently and quickly they can get their cargo from point A to point B. Accordingly, they may try and push their truckers to do more deliveries than they can handle in one sitting and to do those deliveries more quickly than it is safe to do so. Such an environment could push truck drivers to continue driving when they are too fatigued to do so or to rush through traffic to try and get where they are going and meet the requirements of their employer. If a trucking company is pushing its drivers beyond what is considered safe, they may be liable for your injuries.
When Not to Sue a Trucking Company in a Maryland Truck Accident Lawsuit
On the other hand, there may be times when suing a trucking company actually makes your chances of winning a truck accident lawsuit worse. Generally, this will only be the case when it is pretty clear-cut that the accident was caused by something other than the trucking company or anyone associated with it. For example, if you are filing a truck accident lawsuit alleging that poor road conditions caused your accident, suing the trucking company would be counterproductive because they do not control the conditions of Maryland’s roads. You would be better served using a different entity instead.
Ways to Improve Your Chances in a Maryland Truck Accident Lawsuit
There are some things that can be done to help strengthen your case against a trucking company in Maryland. First, have our Baltimore truck accident lawyers work with you to collect as much evidence as you can from witnesses, the trucking company, drivers, medical professionals, and more. Second, file your case promptly so that the statute of limitations does not run out. Finally, make sure that any settlement offer that a trucking company presents is fair and meets your needs before accepting it.
Speak to Our Maryland Truck Accident Lawyers Today
If you need help after a truck accident, call Rice, Murtha & Psoras’s Ocean City, MD truck accident lawyers at the number (410) 694-7291 and get a free case review.