It has happened to all of us. You’re driving on the Interstate and suddenly find yourself surrounded on all sides by semi-trucks. Your heart races. Your palms sweat. You feel like the trucks are moving closer and closer to your vehicle. In most cases, of course, you’re able to drive on without incident. But if you’re reading this post, then might have been unlucky enough to be injured in a truck accident.
If that’s the case, then you’re dealing with more pain and hardship than you deserve. You might be experiencing physical pain and discomfort, limitations to your physical capabilities, and emotional trauma. Making matters worse is the very real fact that you’re probably facing extensive financial losses in the form of unexpected medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, lost wages, and lost earnings capacity.
These damages might leaving you feeling uncertain about your future, but don’t let that paralyze you into inaction. Instead, you can carefully consider your circumstances to determine if taking legal action is right for you. If successful, you could recover compensation for your losses, but will an individual trucker have the resources to accommodate your losses?
Probably not, which is why you’ll need to consider you other options. One of them is to pursue a lawsuit against the trucker’s employer. This is known as a vicarious liability claim. Here, you can impose liability on a trucker’s liability if you can show:
- The trucker was performing his or her job duties at the time of the accident
- The trucker was actually on the clock and being paid for his duties
- The employer benefited from the trucker’s work being performed at the time of the crash
If successful on a vicarious liability claim, then you might be able to access more money to cover your losses. This isn’t automatic, though. You’ll need to be aggressive if preparing your case, which might mean doing the following:
- Subpoena documents from a trucker and his employer, including trucker logs, any substance abuse test results, any background checks and driving histories, and medical documentation.
- Depose witnesses and the trucker to find out what they know and how they will testify.
- Analyze relevant case law to know how these types of cases normally play out.
- Develop compelling legal arguments that support your position
- Aggressively negotiate with the trucker and his or her employer to try to reach a fair resolution without the need for strenuous litigation.
- If negotiations fail, be prepared to zealously advocate in a court of law.
If those steps sounds stressful, you’re not alone. Most people feel unprepared when entering the legal arena, which is why they often turn to legal professionals for assistance. Fortunately, you don’t have to face these matters on your own. Instead, you can seek help from an experienced attorney who knows how to fight for you. Perhaps then you can reach an outcome that supports your best interests and provides a sense of closure and justice, all while allowing you to move on to the next chapter of your life.