Driver Liability in DC Truck Accident Cases

The following is taken from an interview with a DC truck accident lawyer as they discuss instances where drivers may be held liable in truck accident cases. To learn more or begin filing your claim, call and schedule a consultation today.

Circumstances Where Truck Drivers Can Be Held Liable

The driver can be held liable if their conduct was negligent enough to trigger liability. There is a duty of ordinary care that is owed and so if that is breached then a driver may be held liable.

So for example, a driver can be liable if it can be demonstrated that he or she violated the highway safety laws by:

  • Speeding
  • Not maintaining proper control of the vehicle
  • Not maintaining a proper distance
  • Not granting right of way to other vehicles properly on the highway
  • Or by otherwise breaking the law

Essentially, the driver is held responsible for the operation of the vehicle and can be at fault for an accident if he or she is negligent.

Whether other parties are held responsible as a result of the driver’s conduct depends upon the relationship of the driver to the employer, as in the case of vicarious liability. There can also be independent liability on behalf or by the company who employs that driver in terms of hiring and training and in terms of the ownership and maintenance of the vehicle.

Factors Looked At To Determine Whether Or Not a Truck Driver Is Liable

It is very important to know what the truck driver was doing— the activity, conduct, and operation of that vehicle.  This is necessary in order to get to the root cause of why the accident occurred.

  • Were they adhering to the regulations regarding the maximum amount of consecutive hours for driving a truck
  • Were they under the influence of alcohol or any drugs
  • Were they adhering to the motor vehicle highway laws where the accident occurred
  • Were they properly inspecting and maintaining the truck so that it could be operated safely on the highway

All of these issues would be looked into as part of the normal investigation of this type of accident to see if the truck driver was liable.

Will An Injured Party Have To Pay For a Truck Accident Attorney?

No. Any type of injury case is typically taken on a contingency fee basis, which means that there is no obligation for fees or costs to be paid by the victim unless and until there is a recovery. If and when a recovery is achieved, then both fees and costs come out of that recovery, and fees are typically agreed to using a standard percentage (or “contingency fee”).