Truck accidents can be costly for victims. That’s why it’s usually a good idea to pursue legal action against both the negligent driver who caused the truck accident as well as his or her employer. This is because, through vicarious liability, an employer can be held accountable for the negligent actions of its employees. A successful vicarious liability claim can go a long way toward helping you recover the full extent of your damages, but there are some vicarious liability defenses that you’ll want to be prepared to address. Let’s look at some of them.
Frolic and detour
A lot of the vicarious liability defenses focus on blame-shifting. One way truck companies do this is by arguing that the trucker who caused the accident was engaged in frolic or detour at the time that the accident occurred. In other words, the truck company tries to show that the trucker was doing something outside the scope of his job duties and, as a result, caused the accident in question. This may mean taking an unapproved route, running a personal errand, driving drunk, or texting and driving.
A truck company also might try to shift the blame back to you. They’ll look for any miniscule error that you might have made that they can claim contributed to the accident. While this might not allow a truck company to avoid liability altogether, it can certainly decrease the amount of damages that it has to pay out if it is still found vicariously liable to a certain extent. Truck companies often utilize this same tactic when it comes to blaming a third-party for the wreck.
Lack of causation
Another way that truck companies try to limit their liability is by arguing that you’ve failed to prove causation. To succeed on your personal injury claim, not only do you have to show that a negligent trucker caused your accident, but you also have to prove that the accident caused your injuries. Therefore, if you’ve had a chronic injury, then a truck company may try to avoid paying any damages that are related to that injury by arguing that it predated the accident and therefore wasn’t caused by the wreck in question. Be prepared for truck companies to get pretty creative with their arguments here.
Similarly, truck companies will always try to minimize the extent of your damages. While that’s harder for them to do when it comes to your economic damages, they might have more arguments here than you think. They oftentimes call their own medical expert to testify to a recovery that is less costly than you presented, and they might try to shorten the amount of time that it will take for you to get back to work. Additionally, truck companies aggressively argue against noneconomic damages, such as pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life. That’s why it’s important that you know how to paint a clear picture that shows how your truck accident injuries have negatively impacted your life.
Know how to deal with truck companies
If you’ve been injured in a truck accident, then you need to know how to fight back against aggressive truck companies that are armed with competent defenses. Fortunately, skilled personal injury firms like ours have extensive experience handling these kinds of claims, so we know how to help injured individual build the strong personal injury cases they need. If you’d like assistance in developing your case, then consider reaching out to a firm like ours for more information.