When you’re injured in a truck accident, you might have the ability to pursue a legal claim against both the trucker who caused the accident as well as his or her employer. This is a smart move given that many truckers lack the financial resources to pay for the extensive damages that are often suffered in these kinds of wrecks. But moving forward with a legal claim against a truck company is a lot different than suing an individual driver. After all, you’ll have to prove slightly different legal elements and you’ll probably be going up against a team of defense attorneys.
Anticipate these truck company defenses
So, preparation is key to your case. One way you can adequately ready yourself for litigation against a truck company is to know their common defense tactics. These include:
- Arguing that the plaintiff is partially to blame, thereby reducing the victim’s ultimate recovery on account of New York’s comparative fault rule
- Claiming that the trucker should be held solely responsible because he or she was engaged in something outside the scope of his or her employment at the time of the accident
- Putting forth evidence that a third-party is to blame for the wreck, thereby side-stepping liability
- Arguing that liability shouldn’t be imposed because the accident was the result of some unavoidable hazard or the weather
By anticipating these arguments, you can develop the strong counterarguments that you need to be successful. For example, you can’t overlook your own driving behavior at the time of the accident, as that could leave you flat-footed on a comparative fault argument, thereby leaving you with something less than a full recovery.
How to prove truck company liability
Fortunately, there are a lot of strategies that you can implement to try to prove truck company liability. While you’ll certainly have to prove that the trucker was on the clock and performing his or her job duties at the time of the accident, which may be shown by employment records, you can also address matters pertaining to truck maintenance.
For example, trucks are supposed to be subjected to yearly inspections, and identified defects have to be corrected before trucks can be released back onto the road. The same holds true for post-trip inspections that are to be conducted by truckers. When issues are identified and reported to the truck company, they must be repaired before the truck can be placed back in operation.
Another option that you may have at your disposal is showing that cargo was insecurely tied down. While this certainly may have been an issue with an individual trucker, it also could be linked to inadequate training provided by the truck company or a lack of tie down equipment. You can subpoena the truck company’s records to discover if these issues existed.
Don’t let a truck company run you over in your personal injury case
Your financial stability and health are on the line in your truck accident case. With that in mind, you probably want to do everything you can to build the most persuasive personal injury case. But far too often truck companies convince accident victims that settlement is the best course of action. That may be the case, but it might not be. The truck company shouldn’t make that decision for you. With the help of a skilled legal advocate, though, you can develop the legal strategy that is right for you and positions you to strongly fight for the best outcome possible under the circumstances.