Truck drivers are held to a different standard than people who drive cars. It is a higher standard and one that is heavily regulated. Federal trucking regulations must be adhered to by every driver in every state. As such, truck companies must comply with these regulations. In most cases, when a truck accident occurs, the principal-agent relationship is sometimes at play. Truck drivers can be agents of the companies that they work for, meaning that when a truck driver is involved in the accident, the truck company might be able to be sued in a court of law if the driver is found at fault. Now depending on the facts and circumstances of the accident and whether the driver was negligent or not, a trucking company may indemnify the driver where applicable.
Recently, in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, there was a serious trucking accident when a semi-truck driver hit another vehicle and overturned. Apparently, the truck driver was traveling down the roadway when he crossed the center lane, making contact with a vehicle traveling in the opposite direction. This caused the driver of the truck to lose control of the truck, hit an embankment and overturn. Some of the contents in the truck spilled onto the roadway. The truck driver was taken to the hospital with serious injuries. The other driver was not injured.
Even when the victim in the accident doesn’t sustain bodily injury, filing a claim for property damages is still appropriate. This type of claim normally does not have to be done in court unless it proves difficult to recoup money for damages. Usually insurance claims are done outside of the legal system, however cases do exist where a court may need to get involved to ensure that the party not at fault is paid. And in these cases, the trucking company may be responsible to the damage to the other vehicle involved in the accident.
Trucking accidents are like car accidents in that legal claims may be filed to resolve the matter. People injured in truck accidents, like the recent accident, should know their legal rights and who they are able to take action against.
Source: Chambersburg Public Opinion, “Truck driver in serious condition after I-81 crash,” Oct. 2, 2014