Many people don’t realize until it’s too late that truckers are often independent contractors. These contractors work diligently and often as if they are standard employees. However, trucking companies often decide to employ their drivers as independent contractors for a number of reasons. Unfortunately, that leaves many people in desperate need of a trucking accident lawyer in Richmond. Unlike other car accidents, being hit by a trucker often comes with serious injuries and even death.
Who Can You Sue After Being Hit By a Trucker?
In many cases, yes you can and you should. Usually, the same trucking companies which employ drivers as independent contractors are skirting the rules some way in other areas. Sometimes they may simply not have documentation promoting the correct way of working and other times they do have documentation. However, the documentation doesn’t accurately line up with the company’s practices.
Deciding if you’re pursuing compensation from the trucking company or not is a big step. Speak with a trucking accident attorney to decide if you can or should sue the trucking company. There are many aspects of the trucking company’s employment agreement that the driver may have neglected. For example, if the company had a policy and was diligent in enforcing it about drivers taking specific breaks, and the driver failed to comply, the company may be inaccessible. Their insurance may also find many reasons not to cover the independent driver.
Will You Need to Sue the Trucker Privately?
It’s possible. Although many people don’t enjoy the prospect of pursuing compensation from a person when a company seems involved, it’s likely. When companies use independent contractors for their driving, they often hand over full responsibility. They might take it upon themselves to distance their relationship from the driver if it was clear that they were at fault. Additionally, they may make it easier for you to pursue compensation if you choose to file a claim against the driver rather than the company.
When it comes to filing a claim in a trucking accident, especially in Richmond, you’ll want to ensure that you understand what your choice means. When filing a claim against the driver, you may lose access to filing a claim against the company. Always speak with an attorney about all of your legal resolutions options and if choosing one will make other avenues inaccessible.
Truck Driver Insurance Requirements
Fortunately, if you do need to file a claim against the truck driver directly, you can be almost certain that they have the proper insurance. Because there are laws at both the Federal and state level, commercial drivers must carry certain levels of insurance. Truck drivers must have liability coverage, at a minimum of $300,000 but more often at a minimum of $750,000 given the size and weight of these trucks.
Before a driver can get on the road, they also have to go through training, test for their license, and agree to the employer’s conditions. Those conditions will often include causes regarding drug use. Now, when it comes to car insurance, many companies will outline that they won’t payout for damages which were caused through reckless or blatantly negligent driving.
However, high-risk commercial-grade trucking insurance often plays a different tune. These companies will usually payout or cover the damages for the driver, and whether they continue to provide coverage or not is between them and the driver.
These are all things to discuss at length with your lawyer. If you don’t have an attorney in Richmond working on your case yet, then you need to find one. The longer you wait, the more the risk increases of not receiving a fair settlement. Even when the driver was clearly in the wrong and driving under the influence insurance companies don’t want to payout. They will often try to short victims or make it more difficult for them to recover their full compensation.
If You’ve Been Hit By a Trucker, Contact a Trucking Accident Lawyer
Call a trucking accident lawyer in Richmond to get the help you need for your case. CAIL, the Commonwealth Accident Injury Law offices which help the victims of car, truck, and motorcycle accidents. The accidents which happen in Richmond, often include commercial trucks given the level of traffic in the area.
If you were hit by a trucker in Richmond, then you need CAIL’s help. The level of injury and harm involved in a trucking accident you’ll need an experienced attorney by your side. Contact CAIL now to schedule a consultation so you can learn more about your case.