Usually, if you’re in an accident with a tractor-trailer, your Georgia injury lawyer can pursue both the truck driver and the company they work for. They would file a claim against both parties’ insurance policies demanding that you be compensated for your injuries. If that didn’t work, you would hire a Columbus truck accident attorney to sue both parties in court.
The problem is that the employer will only be liable for the truck driver’s actions if the defendant was on the clock at the time of the crash. If they were on their own time, or engaging in personal errands, there is a good chance the employer will not be held liable.
Your Columbus truck accident attorney must make sure this doesn’t happen. If the employer is off the hook, the only person you can pursue is the truck driver. This limits the amount of money you can recover.
Here, we will discuss what to do if you are injured in a truck accident. We will specifically address the issue of the other driver being off the clock while driving a company truck. Depending on the facts in your case, the employer may or may not be responsible for damages. There are, however, certain situations in which the truck driver’s behavior would still be attributed to their employer.
If You’re Injured in a Truck Accident, You May Be Entitled to Damages
If you were injured in a truck accident, there’s a good chance you’re entitled to damages. If the other driver’s insurance carrier pays your claim, wonderful. If, for some reason, your claim is denied, you may need to look for alternate sources of recovery. One way to do that is to look to see if the driver’s employer is responsible for their actions.
Your Columbus truck accident attorney will attempt to demonstrate that the other driver was acting within the scope of their employment at the time of the accident. They will also argue that the defendant’s employer was well aware that the defendant was driving a company vehicle on personal time. If need be, you’re Georgia injury lawyer we’ll collect evidence to prove this.
Normally, You Would File a Claim Against the Truck Driver and Their Employer
In most truck accidents involving a commercial trucker, your Georgia injury lawyer would file their initial claim against both parties’ insurance carriers. The truck driver is required to carry their own auto insurance policy. At the same time, their employer must have a larger policy that covers all their drivers.
This way, if one of their drivers gets into an accident while on company time, the company’s insurance carrier would pay any resulting claims. They would also be responsible for any injuries suffered by third parties. This is why it can be really frustrating if you find out that your insurance claim was denied by either the truck driver’s insurance carrier or their employer’s.
If the Driver Was Off Duty, That Can Change Things Significantly
Even in cases where our Columbus truck accident attorneys need to sue to get their client damages, there usually isn’t a question of whether the other driver was on the clock at the time of the crash. Things can get very complicated if the other driver’s employer claims that their employee didn’t have permission to drive the truck at the time of the accident.
They will either say that the driver kept the truck out later than their shift, or that they were not allowed to take the truck home with them at the end of the day. Your Georgia injury lawyer will search for evidence to prove that this is not the case.
What your attorney will do is try to find evidence to show one of the following things:
- Management was well aware of the drivers took vehicles home at the end of their shifts.
- The truck driver told her manager that they will be using the truck to run personal errands on that given day.
- The owner of the company often paid the defendant cash to do jobs on the side after hours.
- The trucking company was well aware that there are truck drivers using company vehicles outside of standard hours.
Of course, there are other types of information that may benefit your attorneys as well. Once they have had a chance to adequately review your case, they will not know which direction to proceed. However, once they understand the nature of your case, they will put their plan into action and work hard to get you the best possible outcome.
For the Best Chance at Getting Damages, Speak with a Skilled Georgia Injury Lawyer
If you are involved in a trucking accident and want to be fairly compensated for your injuries, you should speak with one of our Georgia injury lawyers. Our Columbus truck accident attorneys have decades of combined experience handling cases just like yours. They’re familiar with the larger trucking companies in Georgia and they’re also intimately familiar with their insurance carriers.
Over the years, Columbus truck accident attorneys have needed to negotiate with insurance adjusters often. This is the best way the cases get settled. Once you retain one of our Georgia injury lawyers, they will reach out to the insurance company of the defendant and try to get the matter resolved.
If need be, they will file suit on your behalf. What you need to do now is call our office so you can schedule your free, initial consultation. Take the time to sit down with a seasoned Georgia injury lawyer who can answer any questions you may have.
Our associates may even be able to give you an idea of what your case may be worth. Since the initial consultation is free, you have nothing to lose.