Who Pays for a Truck Accident in a Company Vehicle?
If you were injured in an auto accident in a company car, your first priority should be recovery. Afterwards though, you may start to wonder how those medical expenses and other parts of your injury will be paid for. Especially if you were injured by a negligent truck driver, your case could involve at least six different parties who could possibly pay for your injuries. Many drivers are injured in truck accidents every year, especially on heavy commuter highways in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, such as I-35E, I-35W, or I-45.
The Dallas truck accident attorneys at The Queenan Law Firm will dive into these possibilities and help you understand who would pay for your injuries after a truck accident. If you or a loved one suffered serious injuries in a truck accident, take your case to a Dallas personal injury lawyer today.
Possible Parties to Blame for a Truck Accident
If you were injured in a car accident between two cars, the options seem simpler: either you or the other driver is responsible, so one of you pays for the injuries. Even in that case, things become more complicated because of insurance. Nearly every driver in Texas is required to have auto insurance. This insurance gives accident victims something to draw on if they’ve been injured. Standard rules in Texas mean that the at-fault driver’s insurance company usually covers injuries. However, this means we now have four parties to look at in any car accident: driver one, driver one’s insurance company, driver two, or driver two’s insurance company.
When you’re involved in a truck accident or an accident in a company car, there is an added level of possible lawsuit targets, since the drivers don’t own the cars. Truck drivers may be owner-operators, but in many situations, they are employed by a trucking company. Similarly, if you were hurt in an accident in a company car, your employer technically owns that car and could be responsible for injuries. However, since only a party who is at fault for an accident can normally be sued for injuries, this becomes more complicated.
Any time you are injured because of an employee’s negligence, you may be able to sue the employer as well. Normally, the employer wouldn’t come into the case. For example, if someone is on vacation or off-duty when they cause someone’s injuries, there is no expectation that their employer would be involved at all. Instead, you can only reach through to the at-fault driver’s employer if they were acting within the scope of their duties when the negligence occurred. That usually covers the truck driver, since the accident occurred while they were at work. If they were at-fault, you can usually sue the truck driver’s employer.
You may also be able to sue your own employer if you were injured in a company car. If you were “at work” when you were injured in the car, you might be able to sue the same as you could for any other work injury. If you were on your way to a meeting or driving was part of your job, your employer may need to cover your injuries. Alternatively, if the car your employer gave you was somehow unsafe, you may also be able to sue your employer to the extent that that unsafe car added to your injuries. If you were injured while off-duty in a car your company pays for, you might not be able to recover from your employer.
Suing for Injuries in a Company Car
If you take your case to an experienced car accident attorney, they can guide you through deciding who you want to sue. Sometimes, you may be unable to sue your employer because of workers’ compensation rules. However, attorneys may still be able to find ways to bring your employer into the lawsuit to cover your injuries.
Often, the most important party to sue in a truck accident in a company car is the trucking company. There are many regulations and rules that govern truck drivers. Showing that any of these rules were violated can help you prove your case and may lead to even higher damages. Many times, trucking companies are also directly responsible for the crash if they hired untrained or unsafe drivers.
Whenever multiple parties might be responsible for an accident, attorneys usually try to bring them all into court. In many cases, one party may not be able to pay for your injuries. For example, a truck driver might not be able to compensate you for your injuries, so bringing his employer into the suit ensures there is money to pay for your injuries. The same is true for insurance companies, who usually cover any damages ordered against their clients, and may even pay for their attorneys. Bringing another possibly responsible party into a lawsuit is called “joining” them in the suit.
Dallas Truck Accident Lawyers
The Dallas personal injury lawyers at The Queenan Law Firm, P.C., have represented many truck accident victims in cases against the trucking company and their driver. Our principal attorney Kevin Queenan worked in the trucking industry, and, as an attorney, has achieved substantial compensation for multiple truck accident victims. For a free consultation on your truck accident case, call (817) 476-1797 today.