After my truck accident, should I sue the trucking company or truck driver?

Semi-Truck After it Collided With a Passenger VanIf you were hurt in a truck accident, it can be confusing to know who you should sue for compensation for your injuries. Should you sue the truck driver who caused your collision or the trucking company who employed him? In most cases, you should file your lawsuit against both.

Why You Should Pursue Claims Against the Trucker and Trucking Company

You should always pursue claims for compensation against any parties who are potentially liable to compensate you. Depending on the cause of your collision, the trucker, trucking company, shipping company, and others could all be partially at fault. Here are two reasons why it is important to sue the trucker, trucking company, and any other liable parties:

  • Insurance. The trucking company will have more insurance coverage than the truck driver to compensate you for your injuries. If you only file a lawsuit against the truck driver, you may not be able to recover all the compensation that you are owed—even if you win your case. His insurance company would only be responsible for paying you up to the policy limits.
  • Partial fault. In Virginia, negligent parties are only responsible for paying you their percentage of fault in causing your truck accident. To ensure that you receive all that you deserve, you have to sue all potentially liable parties and negotiate settlements with all the parties that you can prove were negligent.

Two Ways to Hold the Trucking Company Responsible for Compensating You

You may be able to sue the trucking company based on the legal theory of vicarious liability and based on their own negligent actions that contributed to your crash. In Virginia, employers—including trucking companies—are vicariously liable for the actions of their employees if the worker was acting within the scope of his employment. If the trucker was driving on the clock when he caused your accident, the company he worked for would also face liability under this legal theory.

You may also have a separate claim that the trucking company’s own negligence contributed to your collision. Here are some common claims that you may be able to raise:

  • The trucking company was negligent in hiring an unqualified truck driver.
  • The trucking company violated its duties under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations to inspect and maintain the truck.
  • The trucking company instructed or encouraged the truck driver to violate the FMCSA hours of service rules that limit the number of hours he can drive without a break.

You do not need to determine whether you can sue the trucker and trucking company on your own. Our experienced truck accident attorneys are here to investigate the cause of your crash and pursue claims against all possible parties so that you receive all that you are entitled to in your settlement. Fill out the online form on this page to schedule your free consultation today.