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Truck accidents can be devastating, leaving victims with severe injuries, expensive medical and repair bills, lost earnings from time off work, and many other debilitating losses. While the truck driver might be most directly responsible for these losses, they may not be the only party to blame. Not only are employers typically responsible for accidents their employees cause while on the job, but they can also contribute to these incidents through their own negligence, further exposing them to liability.

At Spiros Law, P.C., we are here to help you seek fair compensation after a commercial vehicle accident. We’ve been protecting the rights of accident victims in Illinois since 2005, and we have recovered tens of millions of dollars for them in the nearly two decades since we opened our doors. Let us put this skill and experience to work for you when you need it the most. Contact us today at (217) 516-3451 for a free consultation with a truck accident lawyer in Charleston, IL.

Causes of employer negligence in truck accidents

Trucking company negligence can take many forms, including the following:

  • Pressure to meet delivery deadlines – One of the primary forms of employer negligence in truck accidents is pressuring drivers to meet delivery deadlines. Truckers are often under intense pressure from their employers to deliver goods quickly and efficiently, causing them to drive faster and for longer periods of time than they should. This can result in fatigue and distracted driving, which are major contributors to truck accidents.
  • Inadequate training and supervision of truck drivers – Another common form of employer negligence in truck accidents is inadequate training and supervision of their truck drivers. Many trucking companies fail to provide their drivers with the proper training to operate their vehicles safely or to oversee them to ensure they are following regulations. This can lead to drivers making errors in judgment, failing to follow safety protocols, or simply lacking the skills needed to avoid accidents.
  • Failure to conduct proper background checks on drivers – Relatedly, trucking companies often cut corners by hiring drivers without properly vetting their qualifications or conducting thorough background checks. This can lead to the employment of drivers with histories of reckless driving or drug and alcohol abuse, putting everyone on the road at risk.
  • Failure to maintain trucks in safe working condition – Trucking companies must maintain the trucks in their fleet to ensure they remain in safe working condition. However, some companies cut corners on maintenance or repairs to save costs, putting their drivers and others on the road at risk.

Consequences of employer negligence in truck accidents

When trucking companies behave negligently in a way that causes accidents, they open themselves to liability. That means injured parties can sue them for compensation for the following:

  • Physical injuries – One of the most immediate and obvious consequences of truck accidents caused by employer negligence is physical injuries and fatalities. When a large commercial truck collides with a passenger vehicle or pedestrian, the results can be catastrophic. Victims of truck accidents may suffer from broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, burns, and other serious injuries for which they deserve compensation.
  • Emotional trauma – The emotional trauma suffered by victims of truck accidents and their families can be just as devastating as physical injuries. Truck accidents are traumatic events that often leave victims with emotional scars that last a lifetime.
  • Economic losses – Truck accidents can also have significant financial consequences, leaving victims to face expensive medical bills and lost wages due to time off work. In some cases, victims may be unable to work or may require ongoing medical care, which can lead to long-term financial hardship.

Legal aspects of employer negligence in truck accidents

Under the legal principle of vicarious liability, employers can be held responsible for the actions of their employees that occur within the scope of their employment. This means that if a truck driver causes an accident while on the job, the trucking company may be held liable for the resulting injuries and damages.

Furthermore, many federal and state laws and regulations govern the trucking industry and address issues related to employer negligence. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration establishes safety standards or commercial motor vehicles engaged in interstate commerce, and state laws govern licensing, registration, and insurance requirements for trucking companies. Companies may be additionally liable when they negligently violate these regulations.

A trucking company might try out several defenses to avoid liability for truck accidents caused by their employee. For example, they may argue that the driver was somehow acting outside the scope of their employment at the time of the accident or that the driver was an independent contractor rather than an employee of the company. However, even in the latter case, a trucking company might be liable independently of its relationship with the contracted driver.

How a truck accident lawyer can hold employers liable

After a truck accident, you will likely need to work with an experienced lawyer if you want to secure the full compensation you deserve from the negligent employer. At Spiros Law, P.C., we can help you by:

  • Investigating the accident to determine employer negligence – We will start by independently looking into the accident to determine whether employer negligence played a role in your injuries. This may involve reviewing the driver’s logs and employment records, inspecting the truck for maintenance issues, and interviewing witnesses to the accident.
  • Calculating the losses you suffered in the truck accident – Next, we will determine the full extent of your losses, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. You deserve to be compensated for these losses fully, which requires a careful accounting of the accident and its consequences.
  • Negotiating a settlement with the company and its insurer – Once we’ve placed a fair value on your claim, we will begin negotiating with the trucking company and its insurer to settle out of court. This can avoid the time and headache of a trial while still recovering the money you need for your injuries and damages.
  • Taking the trucking company to court – If the trucking company and its insurer refuse to offer a fair settlement, we can take them to court on your behalf. This will involve filing a lawsuit, presenting evidence of employer negligence, and arguing for a verdict that holds the trucking company accountable for their actions.

Time is of the essence, and the sooner you contact us, the more we can do on your behalf.

Talk to a Charleston Truck Accident Lawyer Today

Did a trucking company contribute to an accident that injured you? Then you deserve compensation, and the Charleston, IL, trucking accident lawyers with Spiros Law, P.C. can help you demand it. Contact us today at (217) 516-3451 to get started with a free consultation.