It only takes a split second for an errant truck to cause a serious accident. The sad reality, too, is that these truck accidents often lead to devastating consequences for victims. Catastrophic injuries can result, forcing unsuspecting motorists to find a way to cope with the oftentimes tragic physical, emotional, and financial realities of their situation. This can be painful, stressful, and downright overwhelming.
Although a personal injury lawsuit may pave the way for relief and a sense of closure, these cases are often hard-fought, and positive outcomes aren’t guaranteed. That’s why you have to know how to best position yourself for success, which includes anticipating and preparing to counter some of the most common defenses levied by truckers and their employers.
Four common defenses to truck accidents
When truck companies are dragged into a lawsuit through a vicarious liability claim, they tend to raise one or more of these four defenses:
- Comparative negligence: Perhaps the most common truck accident defense, comparative fault can quickly derail your claim. Here, the truck company argues that you’re to blame for the wreck, at least in some capacity, which could diminish the amount of your ultimate compensation. Therefore, as you proceed with your claim, you should expect your driving behaviors to be drawn into question and develop a strategy to defend them.
- Frolic and detour: Another common tactic utilized by truck companies in these cases is arguing that the trucker who caused the wreck was operating outside of the scope of his employment at the time of the accident. If this can be shown, the employer may be able to escape liability, thereby leaving you trying to recover the full extent of your damages from the trucker, which can be hard to do. This argument will likely focus on whether the trucker was taking a route for his own personal gain and whether the route was sanctioned by the employer.
- Third-party fault: In some instances, the truck company will try to argue that some other party is responsible for the accident and that the truck and its driver were just other victims. This is frequently seen in cases involving multiple vehicles. So, be sure to fully analyze the facts of your accident and include all necessary parties in your claim.
- No fault: Sometimes a truck company will argue that none of the drivers involved in the accident are at fault. This may be the case when there’s a hazard on the road or poor road conditions, but don’t give in so easily to this argument. Proper driving should anticipate these sorts of conditions and act accordingly to ensure safety.
There may be other defenses out there available to a truck company, so be prepared to diligently analyze the facts of your case to identify weaknesses and counter any potential counterarguments that may be raised.
Fight for the outcome that you deserve
There’s a lot on your plate in the aftermath of a truck accident. If you want relief, you’ll probably have to pursue your personal injury claim aggressively. We know that prospect can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. That’s because you can choose to work side-by-side with an attorney who knows how to build your case from the ground up and aggressively argue for a fair and just outcome.
If you think that you could benefit from that kind of advocacy, you might want to start looking for legal representation that’s right for you.