If a negligent truck driver caused an accident that injured you, you could have more than one option when it comes to filing a personal injury lawsuit. While it is natural to want to sue the driver who hit you, their employer could ultimately represent a more viable party for an injury claim.
Often, the most crucial aspect of these cases is whether or not the driver was covered by insurance. Insurance companies often resolve these claims without filing a lawsuit. At Salamati Law, a truck accident lawyer in Los Angeles could advise you on your options regarding these injury claims.
Suing the driver
You have the right to file suit directly against the truck operator if their negligence caused your crash. The most common acts of negligence include improperly loaded or overloaded trucks as well as fatigued driving.
To file a lawsuit against the truck driver, you must establish that they acted negligently. There are four elements of negligence: duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages.
- Duty. The first requirement involves proving that the truck driver owed you a duty of care at the time of the collision. This is rarely an issue, as truck drivers and motorists share the roads– with a duty to drive safely.
- Breach of duty. This means a failure to do something that you are legally responsible for– such as driving carefully and responsibly. A breach could occur if a truck driver were driving under the influence, speeding, or following another driver too closely.
- Causation. Causation is the link between an injury and the negligent act that caused it. To hold a truck driver accountable, you must show that the accident was directly linked to the truck driver’s negligence.
- Damages. The final element of negligence is damages. To obtain financial compensation, you must show that your injuries resulted in measurable damages like medical expenses or lost wages.
Suing the trucking company
There are two ways that you might be able to sue the trucking company following a crash. In most cases, you do have the right to file a lawsuit against both the driver and the trucking company. For example, you could sue the company if their lack of adequate maintenance allowed faulty equipment to cause an accident.
It is also possible to file a lawsuit against the trucking company under a legal theory known as respondeat superior. According to this theory, an injury victim could pursue a lawsuit against the employer of a negligent party. Specifically, an injured person could sue the trucking company if they can show the driver was acting within the scope of their employment. This depends on the circumstances. For example, a truck driver who causes an accident while hauling a load would likely be within the scope of their employment. That same truck driver would not be within the scope of their employment if they caused an accident while running personal errands.
Contact Our Team of Los Angeles Truck Accident Lawyers
No matter who you file suit against, the critical factor is the insurance coverage that is involved. Sometimes, the same policies will cover both the driver as well as the trucking company. A liability insurance claim could cover the full amount of your damages even if the driver lacks the assets to settle. If you are ready to pursue a claim, let a Los Angeles truck accident attorney with Salamati Law help you prepare your case. Call now for a free consultation today. There are no upfront legal costs because we work on a contingency-fee-basis.