Across the state and across the country, many jobs require employees to drive a truck. Commercial transport companies, for example, hire truck drivers to haul freight across the country and across the continent. Courier and delivery personnel often drive trucks as part of the job. Shuttle drivers must often drive trucks or vans as part of the job. If an accident occurs on the job in such a truck, the legal implications can be quite complex.
When an employee is in a car accident in a company truck, the business is necessarily implicated. Truck accidents, by their very nature, tend to be more serious than car accidents, simply due to the size and the power of a truck. Serious brain injuries, property damage, fatalities, spinal cord injuries, and other damages are a frequent result. If someone has been seriously injured, the company owning the truck can be held liable for a great deal of money.
The driver’s liability is often a consideration in a company truck accident. Often, the driver’s responsibility in an accident is carefully investigated. Investigators try to determine whether a driver was driving recklessly, under the influence of controlled substances, or was tired when driving. In some cases, drivers feel betrayed by their employers because employers as well as insurance companies investigate driver responsibility. As employers try to determine what caused an accident, some employees feel that they are being burdened with the responsibility of a truck accident.
The business’s liability is also often an issue in a company truck accident. Investigators may examine how carefully a business marinated its trucks, how well it trained its drivers, and the steps the company took to prevent car accidents. In many cases, businesses and their insurers stand to lose a great deal of money if it is determined that a company was reckless with the public’s safety.
Another consideration is the Electronic Control Module (ECM). Since the 1990’s most trucks have an ECM as part of the engine components. This device is often compared to the “black box” that is part of large aircraft. The ECM records information about a truck, including a truck’s average speed, the fastest speed the truck attained, the amount of time a truck was driven, and additional information. In many cases, the ECM can help determine liability.
In a company truck accident, drivers who are employed by the company owning the truck also make workers compensation claims. In some cases, these claims may be delayed while an investigation into the accident is underway. Many drivers find that hiring an attorney is essential in determining exactly what happened in the accident and in preserving their rights.