Hit By A Company Vehicle | Commercial Vehicle Accident Attorney
Legal Representation for Victims of a Commercial Vehicle Accident
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A commercial or company vehicle is a car, van, truck, or bus that is owned and operated by a company to be used by employees or agents of that company. Employees use company vehicles to carry out their jobs, to carry work equipment, haul goods or transport passengers, but may also be used for work-related employee transportation. Like any other car on the road, they can be involved in collisions that cause injury and even fatalities. Were you hit by a company car or truck?
An accident with a commercial vehicle is not just another car accident. Company vehicles may be driven by professional drivers and are insured by commercial policies. Once a crash occurs, representatives from the company and the insurance carrier usually begin investigating the accident within hours, in an effort to clean up their mess. They will work to pay you as little as they can under the insurance policy.
With so many drivers relying on highways to get to work every day, it takes just one overworked truck driver for your life to change in an instant. After all, trucks weigh 20-30 times more than a typical car, which can seriously amplify the impact and consequences of an accident.
Commercial insurance carriers have teams of adjusters and attorneys to protect the company from risk and expense. Who is left to look out for your best interests? The answer is a Commercial Vehicle Accident Attorney.
If you were hit by a company car or truck, you may be entitled to compensation. A commercial vehicle accident attorney from The Carlson Law Firm can help you to recover physically, emotionally and financially.
Read on to learn the many options available to you or a loved one following a truck accident.
Were You Hit by a Commercial Vehicle? You May be Eligible for Compensation
If you’ve been hit by a large truck, 18-wheeler or commercial vehicle, initiating a lawsuit may be necessary to protect yourself and your family. There’s a very good chance the collision was due to truck driver negligence, the most common form of personal injury lawsuit our Texas truck accident lawyers handle.
We cannot undo the collision or an injury from a truck accident. But we can fight to make victims what the law calls “whole” again. Our experienced truck accident lawyers need to hear your story. Our truck accident law firm handles injury cases for those involved with nearly every kind of commercial vehicle accident including:
- Delivery trucks, vans
- Fleet vehicles
- UPS/FedEx trucks
- Taxi cabs
- Construction company vehicles
- Mail Carrier Trucks (USPS)
- Buses, including city or school buses
- Garbage and dump trucks or street cleaners
- Corporate cars
- Utility and repair company trucks or vans
- Semis, 18-wheelers, and other large trucks
- Oil trucks
- Logging trucks
- Amazon trucks
- Concrete trucks
- Moving trucks and vans
- And more
Injuries Caused by Company Vehicle Crashes
As with any car accident, company vehicle accidents may be caused by distracted or drunk driving, falling asleep at the wheel, speeding or reckless driving, or vehicle defects. The larger the company vehicle, the greater the force with which it will strike the other vehicle. Large vans and trucks will often cause more serious injuries than cars, although each accident/injury is unique.
Common commercial vehicle injuries can include:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Loss of limbs
- Soft tissue damage
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
The attorneys of The Carlson Law Firm know how these injuries change people’s lives. In the aftermath of a truck accident, a person may be unable to work at the same job – or work at all – due to injury. The person may be unable to do tasks around the home or enjoy activities as before. Because of traumatic brain injuries or other catastrophic physical injuries, many people can no longer live independently, which places a heavy burden on family members. Mounting medical bills only add to the stress.
What Are The Leading Causes of Commercial Vehicle Accidents?
Truck accidents can occur for a number of reasons. The most common reasons for commercial vehicle crashes include the following:
- Driver Error – Despite the increased size and impact of commercial vehicle accidents, drivers often drive recklessly. They often drive drowsy to reach mileage goals set by their companies and may be operating their truck while under the influence or while distracted.
- Poorly Maintained Vehicles– Commercial vehicles are often driven thousands of miles per week and if they are not properly cared for, they can become dangerous quickly. While worn brake pads or a cracked windshield must be dealt with if they occur on smaller vehicles, they can be the cause of a major traffic accident on a vehicle.
- Improperly Loaded Cargo – Loading the beds of commercial trucks or commercial vehicles must be done carefully and in accordance with the law. If they are loaded improperly, the contents on the truck may spill out onto the road and cause accidents and injuries.
Because of the size and weight of the vehicles they operate, commercial vehicle drivers have to take special care not to cause any accidents through their own negligent acts. These acts can include:
- Lack of training
- Careless maneuvers in poor weather
- Aggressive behaviors
- Driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol
If you or a loved one suffered severe injuries in a commercial vehicle accident, contact The Carlson Law Firm.
Why The Carlson Law Firm is the Right Choice For You
We identify all lines of insurance coverage
Truck accidents are inherently complicated as there are multiple lines of insurance coverage. For example, the truck and the trailer are often owned by two separate corporations and therefore, are typically insured by different insurance carriers. Because of this, we are able to hold responsible and pursue both parties for their part in the negligence that caused your injuries.
We have the financial resources to handle truck accident cases
Trucking accident cases require the help of experts since it is often necessary to prove complicated subject matters. For example, proving that a specific part failed, or that a specific hiring practice resulted in an injury, will require the expert knowledge of a hired witness. As a result, truck accident cases are very expensive to handle for a law firm. Since we have handled many different commercial truck cases in the past, we already have a network of witnesses and investigators ready to prove your case.
Who is Liable For Company Vehicle Accidents?
Companies are generally responsible for the actions of their employees when their employees are acting as agents for the company. This means that when a company vehicle is involved in an accident, the driver and the company may be liable for damages. The driver may be responsible if negligence played a role in the accident. In addition, employers may be liable for:
- Negligent supervision
- Negligent hiring practices
- Improper verification of licensing/certification
- Failure to properly train drivers
- Failure to maintain vehicle
What if the employee is driving a company car, but is using it for personal business at the time of the accident? The company owner of the car can still be liable in this situation. A car owner is required to use due care when allowing someone to drive the vehicle. If the company failed to check the employee’s driving record or should have known that the employee had medical or other conditions that impacted the operation of the vehicle, it can be found liable for negligent entrustment of the vehicle.
Respondeat Superior Liability Explained
The phrase respondeat superior is a Latin term that lawyers sometimes use. The term translates as:
If an employee:
- Is at fault for an accident (or an incident); and
- Was doing work for a company at the time of the accident/incident (lawyers will often refer to this as “acting within the scope of employment”); then
- The employer may be held liable for damages arising from the accident/incident.
Our attorneys will establish whether there was any negligence on the part of the driver, as well as examining the company. The business could be liable for damages related to their supervision.
What Acts are Within The Scope Of Employment?
Determining what constitutes an act committed within the scope of employment can be a difficult task. Courts have adopted a number of factors to help resolve this issue. Although each state’s laws may differ, common factors can include:
- The intent of the employee
- Nature, time, and place of the employee’s conduct
- Type of work the employee was hired to do
- Incidental acts the employer should reasonably expect the employee to do
- Amount of freedom allowed to the employee in performing his or her duties, and
- Length of time consumed in personal activity.
The vehicle operator may be liable when:
- The damages were intentional, or the driver was doing something he was not employed to do: If a commercial truck driver should be en route to his delivery destination, but they stop for a reason that is outside the scope of employment and ends up causing a crash, the driver themselves may be held liable.
- The driver is independently contracted to do work for the company: If the driver is not directly considered an employee of the company that he is driving for, then the driver will usually be held accountable for the damages. For example, a large company may not want to get involved in employing truck drivers and purchasing their own trucks for their employees to drive. Instead, they can write up contracts with a third party trucking company and get the same results. Liability would fall on the driver, or possibly the company that employs the driver.
Stay vigilant around company vehicles
Crashes are unpredictable. Further, you can’t control the actions of other drivers on the road. Especially, those who may be overworked or inattentive. However, you can control your actions. Drivers of passenger vehicles can protect themselves by avoiding the following actions:
- Inattentive driving, such as cell phone use
- Tired driving
- Failing to obey traffic signs
- Failure to slow down through construction zones or oilfield zones
- Unsafe lane changes
- Failure to maintain a safe distance
- Passing on the right
- Pulling into traffic without proper acceleration
- Lane camping between large trucks
- Driving too fast in poor weather conditions
- Driving in blind spots
- Improper merging onto a highway or into traffic
- Poor vehicle maintenance, such as poor working wipers
Staying visible helps keep drivers safe when driving near trucks on heavily traveled highways and obeying basic traffic laws can go a long way.
Hit by a Company Car or Truck? What You Should Do
There are steps you should take to protect your legal rights if a company car or truck hit you. Protect your rights with the following steps:
- Your health comes first: Seek appropriate medical attention for your injuries. Always call 9-1-1 after an accident, they will make sure you receive proper medical attention and will file incident reports.
- Document the scene: If you’re able to, document the scene of the crash. Take photographs of everything you see, no detail is too small. Depending on the severity of the crash, companies may send someone out to the scene to start cleaning up the mess, in an attempt to hide evidence. If you’re unable to document the scene yourself, contact an attorney. An attorney will dispatch an investigator to the scene immediately.
- Do not talk to anyone: You may also be contacted by the company’s claims adjuster, who began to protect the trucking company’s interests right after your accident. The designated investigator collects evidence to defend or minimize the claim.
- Contact a Commercial Vehicle Accident Attorney: A commercial adjuster may attempt to steer you away from hiring a Commercial Vehicle Accident Attorney because they know that if you have an attorney, you are more likely to receive a larger settlement. An attorney will protect your rights and will ensure that you receive proper compensation for your injuries and losses.
Financial Compensation for Your Injuries And Losses After a Company Vehicle Accident
Your involvement in a company vehicle accident can turn your life upside-down. Suffering an injury or even the death of a loved one can cause you physical and emotional distress. The costs of medical treatment, loss of wages and vehicle repair can pile up and cause you to find yourself in financial trouble. You have a right to seek compensation for injuries stemming from a company vehicle crash. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury in a company vehicle accident, you need an accident attorney that will provide you with representation backed by the financial and legal resources necessary to win your case.
Why A Commercial Vehicle Accident Attorney from The Carlson Law Firm Is The Right Choice
If a company car or truck hit you, we are the firm for you. We know all too well that accidents can add a whole lot of stress to your life. This stress is not limited to physical pain, but it also takes the form of outstanding medical bills, financial distress, and emotional suffering. Fortunately for innocent truck accident victims, there is help out there for you that can lift a significant amount of strain off of an overwhelmed victim of negligence. Make sure you’ve got an experienced commercial vehicle accident attorney on your side.
We have been protecting the rights of injured victims across the nation for over 40 years. At The Carlson Law Firm, our first priority is your health and well-being. First, we will ensure you are receiving proper medical treatment for any injuries you may be sustained. While that is taking place, behind the scenes we will be investigating the incident. We maintain a staff that includes private investigators that will go out into the field and investigate on your behalf. Once we have all the evidence and documentation we feel necessary, a commercial vehicle accident attorney will begin the process of pursuing your claim.
With The Carlson Law Firm, you’ll have an entire team on your side.