Given their size and weight, accidents involving trucks can often lead to very serious injuries. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, truck accidents cause 60,000 injuries, as well as 5,000 fatalities each year. In Massachusetts, large trucks made up five percent of vehicles involved in deadly crashes, and that number appears to be increasing.
Injuries stemming from a truck accident can be devastating and lead to life-long challenges. If you or someone you love was injured in a truck accident, call a Roxbury truck accident lawyer immediately. An experienced personal injury attorney could help you get the compensation you deserve.
Most injury claims, including those stemming from a truck accident, are based on the legal theory of negligence. If a third party was negligent, they may be liable for any injuries stemming from their negligent act. In truck accident cases, the injured party may also be able to claim vicarious liability, whereby not only the truck driver but also the truck company can be held liable for the resulting injuries.
Under the legal theory of vicarious liability, someone may be held responsible for the actions or inactions of another person. This means an employer may be held liable for the actions or inactions of their employee if the injury occurred during their employment. In a truck accident, if the employee truck driver caused an accident while making a delivery for their employer and caused an injury, the employer could be held liable for those injuries under the theory of vicarious liability.
To be successful in claiming vicarious liability, the injured party must prove certain elements. First, there must be an employer-employee relationship. If the truck driver was merely acting as an independent contractor, the injured party could not claim vicarious liability.
Second, the injured party must prove that the truck driver acted negligently and that negligence caused their injuries. The four elements of negligence are:
Lastly, the injured party must prove that the employee’s negligence occurred during their employment. The employer will typically not be held liable for the truck driver’s negligence if it occurred outside of their work hours or if the truck driver was not engaged in conduct typically associated with their employment. A Roxbury truck accident lawyer could help examine the facts of a case to determine who may be held liable.
The injured party has the burden of proving the third party was negligent. The standard of evidence in a civil negligence case is known as “clear and convincing evidence.” Essentially, this means that the injured party must prove that it was more probable than not that the defendant’s negligence caused their injuries.
In Massachusetts, there is a set time limit for how long the injured party has to bring a lawsuit against a negligent third party. Under Massachusetts Code Chapter 260 Section 2A, the injured party must file a claim within three years of the date of their injury or else they may be barred from bringing a lawsuit altogether. A dedicated lawyer could help an injured party with filing a claim within the statute of limitations.
Truck accidents can cause serious, even fatal injuries. However, you can seek justice. If a negligent truck driver or trucking company caused your injuries, you may be able to hold them accountable.
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a truck accident and believe someone else was negligent, contact a Roxbury truck accident lawyer immediately. An attorney could help analyze your case and determine if you are entitled to compensation.