If your loved one was injured in a truck accident, then you’re probably worried about your family’s finances moving forward. After all, the financial implications of one of these wrecks can be enormous, with medical bills quickly piling up and lost wages eating into your stability. Take your loved one’s pain and suffering into account and your family dynamic can become tense and worrisome.
Fortunately, legal action might allow your loved one to recover the compensation that he or she deserves. While a claim against a negligent trucker in his or her individual capacity might be helpful, these individuals usually don’t have the resources needed to fully compensate for the damages suffered. That’s why pursuing an additional legal claim against a truck company is oftentimes the best course of action. But if you hope to succeed with one of these vicarious liability lawsuits, then you need to be prepared for how truck companies defend themselves.
How truck companies defend against vicarious liability claims
Truck companies actually have several ways that they can try to deflect liability in a personal injury case. Let’s look at a few of them:
- Blame the trucker: In many of these cases, truck companies argue that the trucker is solely to blame for the wreck because he or she was engaged in an activity that wasn’t approved by the employer. This behavior is oftentimes referred to as frolic and detour. An example of frolic or detour would be running a personal errand while on the clock or taking a route that wasn’t approved by the employer. A truck company may even try to argue that the trucker was in violation of his employment agreement by texting and driving or driving while intoxicated.
- Comparative negligence: As we’ve discussed previously on the blog, Utah is a comparative negligence state, meaning that the amount of your loved one’s recovery will be reduced by the percentage of fault allocated to him or her. This means that a truck company will probably attack your loved one’s driving, arguing that he or she is at least partially to blame for the accident in question.
- Third-party liability: In many truck accident cases, several vehicles are involved. This gives the truck company a lot of opportunities to shift the blame to another party.
- Blaming something other than negligence: Sometimes, road and weather conditions significantly contribute to an accident. In these situations, a truck company may try to argue that its employee isn’t to blame for the accident, instead placing the blame on something that was unavoidable, such as icy roads.
- Challenging damages: Another strategy that’s often used by truck companies is to attack the basis of your loved one’s alleged damages. They may try to have your loved one assessed by another medical professional, or they may attack the credibility of your witnesses to try to draw doubt as to their assessment of the extent of your loved one’s damages as well as his or her prognosis.
Know how to help your loved one fight for the best outcome for your family
Dealing with the legalities of a truck accident can be challenging and frustrating during a time when your loved one is simply trying to find a way to cope and recover. However, taking legal action is oftentimes necessary if you hope to secure financial stability for your family. That’s why it’s important to know your legal options so that you and your loved one can do what is right for your family.