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Can You Sue the Trucking Company in a Commercial Trucking Accident in Casper, Wyoming?

Commercial trucking accidents can cause catastrophic injuries and severe property damage, and if you’ve been the victim of a trucking accident in Casper, Wyoming, you likely have questions about compensation and whether it’s possible to hold the trucking company liable. The answer depends on the specifics of your situation. Here are some thoughts from a truck accident lawyer in Casper, WY, about the factors to take into consideration when considering whether to sue a trucking company for a commercial trucking accident.

Can You Sue the Trucking Company in a Commercial Trucking Accident? Answers from a Truck Accident Lawyer in Casper, Wyoming

Understanding Liability in Commercial Trucking Accidents

Truck Drivers

In any personal injury case, liability refers to who is legally responsible for the harm caused. In a trucking accident, establishing liability is critical to obtaining compensation for damages such as medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Truck drivers are generally the first parties to be considered when looking at liability for an accident. Drivers are, of course, expected to operate their vehicles safely and follow traffic laws. They have a duty of care towards other motorists. If a driver’s negligence – driving recklessly, under the influence, or while fatigued – caused your accident, they may be held directly liable.

Trucking Companies

Trucking companies also have a responsibility to ensure the safe operation of their vehicles and the competence of their drivers. If the company hired a driver with a history of safety violations or without conducting proper background checks, they might be held liable. Companies must also provide adequate training for their drivers, especially in handling large commercial vehicles. A failure to provide adequate training leaves a company open to lawsuits.

Trucking companies are also required to maintain their fleets according to regulations, and mechanical failures due to poor maintenance can make the companies liable, too. Federal regulations limit the number of hours a truck driver can be on the road, as well, so if a company pressures drivers to violate these rules, they could be held accountable.

In many trucking accidents, the principle of vicarious liability will end up applying, and this makes the trucking company responsible for damages caused by their driver. This legal principle holds an employer liable for the negligent acts of their employee if those acts occurred within the scope of their employment. However, the details are always unique to the circumstances of each case, so be sure to talk with a truck accident lawyer in Casper to learn more.

Other Parties Who May Share Liability

It’s important to consider that there might be other parties who could be held liable in your case, depending on the circumstances. The company responsible for loading the truck may be held liable if cargo was improperly loaded or secured and that caused or contributed to the accident.

If a defective truck part (like the brakes or tires) played a role, the manufacturer of that part may share liability. In some cases, poor road design, inadequate signage, or other infrastructure issues can contribute to an accident. If so, a government entity might be partially liable.

Proving Negligence

To win a personal injury lawsuit based on a trucking accident, you must prove negligence by demonstrating four key elements. First, you must show a duty of care: that the duty of the at-fault party was to act in a way that prevents harm to others. Second, there must be a clear breach of duty: the at-fault party violated that duty of care through their actions or inaction. Causation, the third factor, means that the breach of duty directly caused your injuries. Finally, you must prove that you have suffered quantifiable damages, such as medical bills, lost income, and emotional distress.

What to Do After a Truck Accident

Seek Medical Attention

Get evaluated by a doctor, even if you don’t feel severe pain immediately. Some injuries might have delayed symptoms, and seeking prompt medical attention establishes a clear link between the accident and any health issues that arise.

Document the Incident

Collect as much information as possible. This includes taking photos of the scene, getting contact information from witnesses, and exchanging details with the truck driver and their company. If you are unable to do so yourself due to injuries, ask a friend or family member at the scene for assistance.

Notify Your Insurance

Report the accident to your insurance company, but provide only the basic facts, avoiding speculation or admitting fault. Your conversations with the insurance company could possibly be used against you, so it’s important to consult with an attorney before providing detailed statements.

Contact a Lawyer Immediately

A qualified truck accident attorney is your best advocate. They will protect your rights and fight for maximum compensation on your behalf. Having an experienced attorney on your side from the earliest stages ensures that your interests are safeguarded and that you have the best chance of securing compensation.

Statute of Limitations in Wyoming

Wyoming law has a statute of limitations of four years for personal injury lawsuits. That means you generally have four years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit, though there are sometimes exceptions to this rule. Failure to file within that time frame could bar you from seeking compensation at all, so don’t delay in contacting a lawyer.

The Role of a Truck Accident Lawyer

An experienced truck accident lawyer is just the person you need on your side in these situations. They will conduct a thorough investigation of the accident, examining every detail to identify all potentially liable parties. Your attorney understands the importance of preserving critical evidence, so they will gather and safeguard items like police reports, trucking company records, maintenance logs, witness statements, and medical records.

Additionally, your lawyer will handle the complexities of filing legal claims and negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf. Insurance companies are known for using aggressive tactics aimed at minimizing payouts, and your attorney will fight to protect your interests and secure a fair settlement for you. In the event a fair settlement cannot be reached, they have the expertise and experience to represent you in court and make sure your rights are upheld.

Gathering Evidence in a Trucking Accident Case

To build a strong case, you need a lot of good evidence. The police report is a valuable resource, for example, as it contains important details about the accident scene and all parties involved. Trucking company records, often referred to as “black box” data, can provide insights into the truck’s speed, braking patterns, the driver’s logged hours, and other essential information.

Maintenance logs are critical to either prove that the truck was properly maintained or to expose potential gaps in maintenance that might suggest negligence. Eyewitness statements offer valuable first-hand accounts of the events that transpired before the accident. Finally, your medical records are important in establishing the extent of your injuries and the treatment you received.

If you or a loved one has been the victim of a trucking accident in Casper, Wyoming, contact the experienced attorneys at Ochs Law Firm today for a free consultation to discuss your case. Let us help you get the compensation you deserve.

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Our experienced Wyoming personal injury lawyer, Jason E. Ochs will fight to help you recover proper compensation in a class action, pharmaceutical, and medical cases throughout multiple states. Contact us today.

Jason E. Ochs

Jason began his legal career in 2002 with a national multi-district litigation law firm in Newport Beach, California. There he worked on a variety of high-profile, complex-litigation projects including pharmaceutical and medical-device litigation across the country.

The Ochs Law Firm epitomizes professionalism and commitment to all of our clients, regardless of the size of the case or the might of the Defendant. We practice in Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas and California in personal injury litigation, medical malpractice, defective products, class action lawsuits, Qui Tam lawsuits, litigation across multiple districts, bad faith insurance, and civil litigation.

We look forward to providing top quality service and representation for you and your family.