James F. Humphreys & Associates, L.C.
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A truck company’s liability for an accident

Big rig commercial trucks can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds when fully loaded with cargo, and at highway speeds, smaller passenger vehicles don’t stand a chance of withstanding a collision with a truck. Accordingly, when a truck accident occurs, the damages can be extensive. Injured truck accident victims can face ruinous financial costs as they try to recover and move forward with life. In other cases, victims don’t survive an accident with a commercial truck.

Given the huge financial implications of a truck accident, victims or their family members need to understand who they can try to recover damages from. Under West Virginia law, employers often have legal liability for the negligence of their employees. In truck accident cases, this means that the truck company may be liable for the driver’s actions that led to an accident. Thus, the truck company would be responsible for compensating any victims.

One of the keys to showing that a truck company should be liable for accident damages is proving that the driver was acting during the course of employment at the time of the accident. For example, if the trucker was speeding while driving cargo from one company assigned location to another and caused an accident, the truck company would likely be responsible.

In that situation, the driver would have simply been carrying out normal job duties at the direction of the company -- driving cargo from one place to another – at the time of the accident, and thus the event would have occurred during the course of employment with the truck company. In other situations, however, the case can be much less clear-cut.

Truck accidents can result in severe injuries and financial consequences. Knowing who to seek out for liability is an imperative component of recovering sufficient compensation for accident victims.

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