Coping in the aftermath of a serious truck accident can be completely overwhelming. After all, the injuries suffered in these wrecks are oftentimes severe, sometimes even catastrophic, thereby leaving the victim with an extensive amount of physical and emotional pain and suffering. But the financial losses can be daunting, too. Lost wages, medical expenses, and rehabilitation costs can all rack up and last for years, perhaps even decades to come.
If you or a loved one is struggling with these losses, then now is the time to take action. The best way to find accountability and relief is through a personal injury lawsuit, but these cases aren’t always as easy as they seem. One reason is because the negligent trucker who caused the accident in question likely isn’t able to pay the full extent of the damages suffered. That’s why it’s usually best to also pursue a claim against the trucker employer, who is much more likely to have the resources need to pay the judgment that’s entered.
Beware the defenses utilized by truck companies
However, before pursuing a vicarious liability claim against a truck company, you should be aware of the common defense strategies that they utilize. Only then can you anticipate their arguments and be prepared to counter them effectively. Here are some of the most common defense tactics that those truck companies use in truck accident cases:
- Frolic and detour: Many of the defense options available to truck companies in a vicarious liability claim deal with blame shifting. With frolic and detour, the truck company argues that it shouldn’t be held liable because the trucker was engaged in some sort of activity that wasn’t sponsored or supported by his or her employer. In other words, the truck company argues that the trucker was operating outside the scope of his or her employment at the time of the accident, so he or she should be held to blame. These arguments may include that the trucker was running a personal errand, taking an unapproved route, or engaged in some sort of illegal behavior such as texting and driving or drunk driving.
- Comparative negligence: Mississippi recognizes comparative negligence, which means that a plaintiff’s recovery in a personal injury lawsuit can be reduced by the percentage of fault allocated to him or her, with a complete bar to recovery coming into play if the plaintiff is found to at a certain level of fault. In your truck accident case, this means that you need to be prepared to defend your driving.
- Third-party negligence: A truck company might also argue that the fault should be shifted to a third-party who was involved in the accident. These circumstances highlight the importance of ensuring that you’re including all of the appropriate parties in your claim from the get-go. Doing otherwise can lead to costly delays or even an incomplete recovery.
Know how to hold truck companies accountable
Truck companies should be held accountable for the actions of their negligent employees. But even when these cases seem pretty straightforward, they can be complicated by a number of legal issues. That’s why it’s important that you’re diligent in the development of your case, keeping your focus on gathering pertinent evidence, researching statutory and case law, and crafting the most compelling legal arguments possible under the circumstances. You should do your best to do this as early on in your case as possible, too, as thorough preparation is usually key to successful settlement negotiations.
We know the process can seem daunting. But we believe that you have it in you to make the decisions that are right for you in order to position yourself for success.