To seek damages following a truck accident, you have to establish fault. The core of establishing fault is finding truck accident negligence. The party who was at fault for the accident will be the party who neglected their reasonable duty to ensure the safety of others.
While it may sound easy to determine fault in a truck accident, it is often more complex than it seems. Many parties can be found liable, as their negligent actions have a ripple effect that ultimately leads to the crash.
It is best to consult with a truck accident lawyer to get assistance determining who was negligent and caused your car accident. Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath are dedicated to assisting you with your case. We will help you collect evidence and establish negligence for your truck accident so you can pursue compensation for your losses.
How is negligence established following a truck accident?
Negligence in Truck Accidents
In truck and other auto accidents, negligence refers to an individual not behaving reasonably or responsibly. The individual is expected to exercise ordinary diligence to maintain a safe roadway for all drivers, including themselves. In fact, a truck driver has a larger degree of responsibility due to the size of their vehicle and the knowledge that minor negligence can cause major consequences.
However, negligence can also refer to an individual who is not present at the accident scene. They may have breached their expectation of care which leads to the truck driver or the truck itself performing improperly, resulting in the accident.
When someone is found negligent in a truck accident, they are then liable for damages. Hire an attorney to help you determine negligence in truck accidents to ensure that you can collect compensation.
Establishing Negligence in Your Truck Accident
Negligence is established through three common principles: duty of care, breach of duty, and breach directly caused the injury.
Duty of care is an unspoken agreement in society that every individual has a legal obligation to others to avoid causing them direct harm. It is based on the determination of what an ordinary, reasonable individual would do in the same circumstances.
For example, a reasonable driver understands that they must pay attention while driving. It is their duty to follow traffic laws, be attentive, and drive safely.
Breach of duty refers to someone not following a reasonable duty of care. This breach is a violation of the legal obligation to those in their community. A reasonable person would find fault in their actions and would not make the same choices in their circumstances.
Continuing on our earlier example, a reasonable driver would not drive while impaired, because they understand the danger it poses. So if a truck driver chooses to drink and drink, they have breached their duty of care to everyone around them.
The final step is crucial in establishing negligence in a truck accident – proving that the breach of care directly caused the victim’s injuries. You cannot sue someone for damages for driving erratically or behaving against societal norms unless they have harmed you. To justify your claim, you will need to prove that the individual’s breach of care directly caused the accident that injured you.
If that impaired truck driver failed to stop at a red light and T-boned your vehicle, they would have injured you as a result of their breach of duty. In this case, you would be able to sue for negligence.
Evidence to Prove Negligence
To prove negligence, your attorney will need to collect evidence. This evidence will help support your claim of the at-fault party’s duty, breach of duty, and the harm inflicted due to that breach.
- Investigating the scene of the accident
- Images of the damages
- Medical receipts
- Black box data from the truck
- Driver logs
- Witness statements
- Determinations of liability
- Expert testimony
Partial Negligence in Truck Accidents
Victims may worry that if they are partially responsible for a truck accident, that they then cannot collect damages. While it is rare for victims to be at fault for a truck accident, there are cases where they may be partially responsible. However, this does not prevent them from claiming damages.
States such as Florida have comparative negligence laws. These laws make it possible to file truck accident lawsuits even if you are partially at fault for the accident. The victim may seek compensation; however, this compensation will likely be reduced by the amount of their liability.
For example, if the individual in our example above was texting while driving at the time of the truck accident, they may be found to be 20% liable. If they were awarded $1 million in damages, their compensation would be reduced by 20%, so they could only collect $800,000.
The reduction is a penalty for their responsibility. However, with an experienced truck accident attorney, your reduced damages will still exceed your financial losses to ensure that you don’t pay out of pocket for any medical treatments.
Contact a Truck Accident Lawyer
Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath’s expert legal team will investigate your truck accident to determine negligence in one or more parties. We will do a thorough examination of the evidence to hold the liable party responsible and build you a strong case for compensation.
Our attorneys have over 250 years of combined legal experience helping individuals like you get the compensation they deserve. We exclusively help victims and families recover from some of the most traumatizing events that can occur.
Find out how we can help you today by calling for a no-obligation consultation. Let us help you establish negligence in your truck accident case and get you maximum compensation.
Related helpful articles:
How is a truck accident investigation conducted?
What if I am partially to blame for my truck accident?
Lax in Driving Safety Laws May Explain Spike in Traffic Fatalities