Semitrucks are basically vehicular missiles, capable of doing enormous amounts of damage. If you are in an accident involving a truck, some matters may make a difference in what kind of compensation you may be able to receive to cover your damages.
Here are three factors that may affect a truck accident settlement.
- Employee or independent contractor
The truck driver may or may not work for a trucking company. Many long haul drivers are independent contractors who are self-employed. However, even if the truck driver who hit you is an independent contractor, you can still receive compensation from his or her insurance carrier. The law requires independent truck drivers to carry insurance policies with large liability limits in order to ensure that victims of accidents receive the compensation that they need.
If the truck driver works for a company, you may sue the truck driver’s employer for compensation. As an employee, the driver is an agent of the company, and the company is responsible for the actions of its agents.
- Third party liability
There may be other parties responsible for your accident besides the driver of the truck. The company that loaded the cargo on the truck has a responsibility to balance the load and secure it to make sure what the truck is hauling does not shift during travel. In addition, a different company may be responsible for the repair and maintenance of the truck. If the truck is not maintained properly, then that company could be liable for your injuries.
- Truck driver negligence
The truck driver may be at fault. Even though there are federal rules that limit how many hours a truck driver can be on the road, some truckers ignore those rules to meet deadlines on deliveries. This can cause the trucker to drive while tired, and drowsy driving is one of the most common reasons for trucking accidents.