The damages suffered in a truck accident can reshape the way you live your life. This is unexpected and unfair, especially when your wreck was caused by the negligence of another. And as you try to find a way to recover from your injuries and soothe your mental harm, the financial ramifications of your wreck can be devastating. That’s why it’s imperative that you consider taking legal. After all, that may be the only way to find accountability and recover compensation for your losses.
But when it comes to a truck accident, you may be at risk of securing a judgment that is well short of what you deserve unless you take the right steps. This means that you need to think about filing a lawsuit against the trucker’s employer. These companies oftentimes have more extensive resources that are better capable of paying you for the full extent of your damages.
But if you hope to succeed on a claim against a truck company, then you need to be prepared to counter their defenses. Here are some of the most common ones:
- Comparative negligence: Pennsylvania recognizes comparative negligence, which means that your recovery will be reduced by the percentage of fault that is allocated to you. In fact, you could be barred altogether from recovering compensation if you’re found to be more than 51% at fault. Therefore, as you pursue a claim against a truck company, you need to be prepared to defend your own driving actions. So, be prepared to play a little defense when you present your claim, heading off the defense’s arguments with strong testimonial and documentary evidence.
- Frolic: A truck company may also try to sidestep liability by shifting all the blame on the trucker who caused the wreck. Here, the truck company argues that the trucker was doing something that was outside the scope of his or her employment at the time the accident occurred. These actions, known as frolic, are for the sole benefit of the employee. For example, a trucker who causes an accident while taking a detour to see a landmark could be found to have been engaged in frolic, which would shield the employer from liability.
- No liability: Sometimes truck companies argue that no one should be held liable for the accident. This is often seen in instances where bad weather is a contributing factor to the wreck, or maybe when there was some other sort of hazard in the roadway like a piece of furniture or a wild animal. In most of these instances, though, you can still assess a trucker’s driving behavior to determine if he or she acted appropriately under the circumstances and find an opening to argue that liability still exists.
- Damages: In any personal injury lawsuit, the defendant is going to claim that your claimed damages are inflated. But since truck companies often have more resources at their disposal, they might back up their position with expert testimony. This means that it might be wise for you to have your own experts who can testify as to your prognosis and your need for treatment, and you’ll need to be prepared with competent cross examination to minimize the impact of the defense expert’s testimony.
Diligently build the strong truck accident case that you deserve
There’s certainly a lot at stake in your truck accident case, which is why it’s critical that you’re thorough and holistic when you build your legal strategy. This includes assessing how best to impose liability on a negligent trucker as well as his or her employer. If you’d like to learn more about how to go about doing that, then we encourage you to reach out to a skilled legal team that knows how to build persuasive legal arguments in the truck accident context.