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by Jeff Rasansky -
Jeff Rasansky
Jeff Rasansky, managing partner of Rasansky Law Firm, is an aggressive Dallas personal injury lawyer with more than 25 years of legal experience.

Truck accident injury claims are always complex, but they can become far more complicated for an 18-wheeler passenger.

There are several factors that can make a passenger’s injury claim very difficult, and the best way to resolve these issues is to be informed on how personal injury law pertains to commercial vehicle accidents.

Because of their size, when an 18-wheeler or other large commercial vehicle is involved in an accident, there is a greater chance that the accident will lead to a catastrophic injury or wrongful death. In spite of the fact that statistics showed truck drivers were usually more careful on the road than drivers of smaller cars, crashes that involved large trucks often account for far more-serious injuries, and therefore, are highly contested by insurance adjusters.

No matter who caused the accident, you as a passenger deserve to be compensated for your injuries. That is where the Dallas attorneys at Rasansky Law Firm can help. To speak with us about your case (for free) today, call us at 1-877-405-4313.

18-Wheeler Accident Passenger Injury

Passengers Injured in a Trucking Accident

Burden of proof.

One major hurdle that plagues both passengers and drivers involved in any kind of auto accident is proving liability. Who was legally at fault for causing your injuries? As the burden of proof is always on the plaintiff (victim), in order to prove liability, you will need to demonstrate the following:

  • The defendant had a duty to exercise reasonable care in order to prevent injury to all plaintiffs (drivers, pedestrians, and passengers)
  • The defendant did not exercise reasonable care and thus breached the duty of reasonable care
  • The defendant’s failure to exercise reasonable care caused the injuries the plaintiff suffered

Quite often, trucking accidents are not the fault of the truck driver, but rather other obstacles such as road hazards or the result of negligence on the part of other drivers. The amount and positioning of the truck’s freight can also make the accident worse as the truck’s cab can be crushed by quickly-shifting cargo.

Identifying all potential defendants.

Anyone who has suffered injuries in a truck accident needs to make sure to identify every party who may hold some portion of liability for the accident. This may include any of the following parties to the accident:

  • Car drivers
  • Truck drivers
  • The truck driver’s employer
  • Contractors
  • Insurance companies (both for the cab and the trailer)
  • Vehicle manufacturers
  • Fleet maintenance companies
  • Route planning companies

Identifying these potential defendants to a truck accident case ensures that the injured party has the best chance for collecting the compensation to which he or she is entitled. The truck driver’s employer is often held vicariously responsible for a truck accident under the legal doctrine of respondeat superior. Essentially, this doctrine states that an employer is responsible for the actions of employees performed within the course and scope of their employment. In order to prove respondeat superior, the attorney of the injured party will need to establish that the logistics company had some degree of control over the driver’s work, and that the trucker was operating in accordance with the employment relationship. On the other hand, if the truck driver who you were riding with was an independent contractor, a respondeat superior claim may be more difficult to pursue.

In the case of hazardous materials, it is sometimes possible to hold the manufacturer or shipper responsible for any injuries that were caused or worsened by the material the truck was carrying. The manufacturer or shipper has a duty to inform either the driver or trucking company of the dangers of those materials, and to ensure that everyone on the road is kept reasonably safe from foreseeable harm.

Beware of the insurance adjusters.

Just like with any accident, the insurance company is going to do everything in their power to harm your case, and you need to be ready for this. We’ve seen insurance companies deny legitimate passenger claims outright due to a previously existing injury, or simply because the driver was not permitted by the company to travel with a passenger. They will delay your case at every turn (while still acting friendly), and by the time you’ve completed medical treatment, they will deny your claim or offer an insultingly-low settlement. If you don’t believe me, we urge you to ask anyone who has tried to negotiate an injury settlement with a commercial truck insurance company. We get calls from people every day who’ve waited too long to contact an attorney, and by the time they do, there’s little to nothing we can do to help.

What’s important to understand is that if you do not hire an attorney as soon as possible, you will be taken advantage of by the insurance company. They do this every day, and if you’ve never beat them in court, they simply hold all of the leverage. It is for this reason that you need to speak with an attorney who will fight for your rights. Our Dallas law firm has the experience and resources necessary to help you settle your case and collect every penny to which you are entitled, and you never pay us a dime unless we win your case.

Speak With a Dallas Accident Injury Lawyer About Your Case For Free

The attorneys at Rasansky Law Firm are happy to speak with you about your potential case free of charge. If we can help with your claim, we’ll do so for no out-of-pocket cost to you. Call us 24/7 at (214) 651-6100, or toll-free at 1-877-405-4313.

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