Trucking and logistics companies are alternatively the heroes of the pandemic and the bogeyman, depending on who you ask. The truth lies somewhere in the middle. While many of our American logistics companies ensure that their drivers are well trained, obeying federal restrictions, and performing inspections on their vehicles prior to making deliveries, there are others who, for whatever reason, are cutting corners, hiring unskilled drivers without CDLs, and placing commuters in danger. This has resulted in a situation in which “nuclear” verdicts against repeat offender trucking companies have thrown the legal community for a loop.
The truth is, these companies are getting hit with punitive damages for violating the law—not because their drivers injured someone else and injury attorneys exaggerated the extent of the harm. But because failures by these companies inevitably lead to preventable deaths.
Truck accident lawsuits in Maumee are filed against truck drivers and their employers. While the truck driver is acting in his capacity as an employee of a company, the company is vicariously liable for any negligence committed by the employee. That means that these lawsuits are often filed against the trucking companies.
Trucking companies carry large commercial policies that usually go up to at least $750,000. Since accidents with large commercial trucks often come with life-altering injuries, settlements and jury awards sometimes eclipse the policy maximum.
The law places several requirements on trucking companies and their drivers. These include ensuring that their trucks are roadworthy, checking the tires prior to delivery, and ensuring that their drivers are operating within the hours of service restrictions set forth by the federal government. Failure to comply with any of these requirements is grounds for a lawsuit when it causes injury. Nonetheless, settlements are usually related to the extent of the plaintiff’s injuries. Only in cases in which the conduct of the company is so egregious that it makes death or serious injury inevitable do you see the eight-figure “nuclear verdicts.”
Honestly, the majority of truck accidents are caused by poor commuters and operator error on behalf of the non-truck driver. While truck companies are getting lambasted in the media, they tend not to be responsible for the majority of truck accidents that occur. They only cause the ones worth reporting.
However, when trucking companies do contribute negligence, it is usually because there is something wrong with either the truck or their driver. In some cases, the driver may be overly tired from violating hours of service restrictions. In other cases, diagnostic tests that were never performed on the truck would have indicated that it was not roadworthy prior to delivery. In still other cases, the cargo has not been loaded properly causing it to shift and fall while the vehicle is in motion.
No matter the cause of the truck accident, if the truck driver or their company was negligent, Lafferty, Gallagher, & Scott will fight tirelessly to ensure you get the compensation you deserve and not the insurance company’s first offer. Call today to learn more.
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