If you got in an accident because of a negligent truck driver, you might think it is a straightforward process to figure out legal liability. It can be complex to determine, however, and is based on the specific causes and nature of the accident. The driver may not actually be at fault; it could be the trucking company.
You want to get compensation for your injuries, so it is crucial to determine liability with the help of a personal injury lawyer. Keep reading to learn about who is liable in commercial tractor-trailer accidents.
When the trucking company is at fault
The trucking company that employs the driver may be liable for the wrongful act the driver committed. Generally speaking, if the collision involves a truck with a placard displaying the trucking company name, the company is legally responsible for the accident.
The scope of employment
That being said, trucking companies are only responsible for acts committed under the scope of employment. For example, if the truck driver crashed into your car while en route for a delivery, the trucking company would likely be liable. If the driver was going to a baseball game after his work was done, it may be more of a grey area.
One prominent exception to carrier liability is when the trucker commits an intentional act. These acts include assault and battery. For instance, if the driver intentionally slammed into your vehicle with malicious intent, the company may not be legally responsible.
Big rig accidents not only cause serious property damage and injuries, but they also can be confusing to figure out. Due to the vast expertise of trucking companies and their insurers and to complex regulations, it can be intimidating to try to prove liability on your own. If you need help determining who is responsible for reimbursing your damages, you should talk to an attorney.