A truck accident can cause extensive damage. Victims are often left with serious injuries that are painful and difficult to recover from, and sometimes those injuries are permanent. This harm can be costly to treat, too, and it can negatively impact the way that you live your life on a daily basis.
While a personal injury lawsuit levied against a negligent trucker and his or her employer may go a long way toward alleviating those damages, these cases are often hard fought. After all, truck companies are usually represented by aggressive attorneys who will do everything in their power to help their clients avoid liability. But you shouldn’t be intimidated by this. Instead, you should diligently work to build your case, which means anticipating the defense’s arguments and skillfully countering them.
With that in mind, let’s look at some of the most commonly utilized truck accident defenses implemented by truck companies.
- Comparative negligence: In most cases, the truck company is going to try to shift blame back onto the victim. There’s a good reason for this. Montana recognizes comparative negligence, which means that a plaintiff’s recovery is diminished by the percentage of fault allocated to him or her. If the amount of fault exceeds a certain level, then the plaintiff may be denied recovery altogether. Therefore, as you prepare your claim you should devote a significant amount of time to analyzing your own driving behavior at the time of the accident and how it may be attacked. Then, think of ways that you can minimize those attacks and diminish the amount of fault that otherwise might be attributed to you.
- Trucker’s negligence: Although a truck company can be held liable if a trucker is negligent, the company may be able to escape liability if it can show that the trucker was operating beyond the scope of his or her employment at the time of the accident. For example, a trucker who causes an accident while running a personal errand may be found solely liable as the truck company was receiving no benefit from the activity being engaged in. This is known as frolic.
- No one is to blame: In some cases, truck companies argue that no one is to blame for the wreck. This is especially true if inclement weather was in play or if there was some kind of hazard in the roadway at the time of the wreck. Here, you’ll want to focus on how the trucker responded and gauge how appropriate it was at the time.
- Evidentiary issues: In addition to the above-mentioned defenses, truck companies will oftentimes deploy clever legal tactics aimed at demonstrating that you’ve failed to meet your burden of proof. They may try to have some of your evidence bounced on legal technicalities and attack your witnesses’ credibility. You can head a lot of these arguments off through sound planning.
Competently navigate our personal injury claim
With so much on the line in your personal injury case, you owe it to yourself to put forth the strongest case possible. That means knowing how to impose liability, protect yourself from arguments of comparative negligence, and prove the full extent of your damages. We know that it can be stressful to think about legal action while you’re simply trying to recover from your injuries, but legal professionals stand ready to help you fight for the outcome that you deserve.
So, if you’d like to learn more about what you can do to best support your claim, then please continue to research how the law applies to these kinds of cases and consider reaching out for help if needed.