Truck accidents are unique and have devastating consequences compared with car accidents. Their sheer size and weight account for the many fatalities and long-lasting injuries that follow a crash. Many truck accidents result from negligence. If someone was careless in the moments leading to a truck accident, they may bear a legal obligation to compensate victims for losses suffered.
In pursuance of your rightful compensation, one of the requirements you must fulfill is establishing fault. You must show, with a preponderance of the evidence, that another person or party was responsible for the accident which caused you harm. Unfortunately, discovering liability in a Missouri City truck accident case is often a tall order. There are complex trucking regulations that impact your case, and without a qualified truck crash attorney, knowing what to do or who to sue may be challenging.
Like in most personal injury cases, liability in a Missouri City truck accident case comes down to negligence. It’s your responsibility to prove that someone else failed to observe necessary care towards you. Since many auto wrecks trace back to negligence, it is important to understand how your accident came to be. Expert witnesses may be called upon to define liability based on the four elements of negligence which are:
When assessing liability in a truck accident case, your first order of business will be to establish whether the other party owed you a duty of care. In many cases, the relationship between the plaintiff (injured party) and the defendant often creates the existence of a duty of care. For example, a truck driver owes other motorists and road users a duty to ensure their safety by adhering to traffic laws. This requirement to maintain a reasonable duty of care is meant to prevent foreseeable harm.
Next, you must prove that the defendant breached the duty of care. This means that they failed, either by an action or inaction, to do what a reasonable person would under similar circumstances. Simply put, a breach of duty occurs when one party fails to do everything possible to prevent foreseeable harm from happening. In this case, a driver is deemed to have breached the duty by speeding, driving under the influence of alcohol, or distracted driving among other behaviors.
The third element of negligence when critical to establishing liability in a Missouri City truck accident case is causation. Proving that someone breached the duty of care is not enough because you have to provide evidence linking their breach to your injuries. For example, if a driver was using a cellphone while driving, you must show that their lack of attention made them ram into your car or knock down your loved one.
Lastly, you must provide supporting evidence and documents for the damages you claim. They may be tangible or intangible based on the specific losses you suffered. Common damages following a truck accident include lost wages, medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, lost future earnings, diminished quality of life, and wrongful death.
Having applied the four elements of negligence in your truck accident case, determining fault becomes easier. The parties likely to bear liability in a Missouri City truck accident case are:
Vehicle manufacturers may bear fault if a defective vehicle part or system contributes to an accident. For example, if the braking or steering systems failed, an accident reconstruction expert may help tie your injuries and losses to the manufacturer’s negligence.
Drivers are often to blame for truck accidents. Their presence behind the wheels often makes them the likely party to carry fault for accidents that stem from their behaviors. Negligence on their part may be in the form of distracted driving, aggressive driving, drunk driving, unsafe lane changes, and speeding.
Poor road designs and conditions may also elevate the likelihood of truck accidents. Coupled with lousy weather, bad roads expose road users to many risks. For example, a truck driver may not be aware of potholes, thus causing a sudden imbalance of cargo, which often results in jackknife truck accidents.
Trucking companies are responsible for their driver’s working conditions and training. Failure to provide favorable working hours and rest time makes them accountable for related crashes. Poorly maintained vehicles may also set them up for civil and criminal lawsuits.
Proving liability in a Missouri City truck accident case requires the experience and skills of a seasoned attorney. Our truck accident lawyers are happy to help resolve this important part of your claim process. Call us today to get started.