Trucking accidents can have devastating consequences, and when it comes to seeking compensation for injuries or damages, trucking companies often try to evade their liability responsibilities. As a leading personal injury law firm in Santa Rosa, CA, Abbey, Weitzenberg, Warren & Emery understands the challenges individuals face when dealing with trucking companies. In this blog post, we will delve into the tactics used by trucking companies to sidestep liability and provide you with tangible tips to navigate these issues effectively.
1. Blaming the Victim
One of the most common tactics employed by trucking companies is blaming the victim. By shifting the blame onto the other driver involved, they attempt to diminish their own responsibility. They might argue that the victim was speeding, distracted, or violated traffic laws, thereby causing the accident. To counter this, it's crucial to gather substantial evidence at the scene, including photographs, witness testimonies, and police reports.
2. Hiring Third-Party Contractors
Trucking companies often hire drivers as independent contractors rather than employees. By doing so, they create a legal distance between themselves and the driver. In the event of an accident, the company may argue that since the driver isn't an employee, they should not be held accountable for their actions. It's important to note that legal precedents exist where courts have ruled against this argument, holding companies liable for their contractors' actions. The key is establishing whether the trucking company truly treats their "independent contractor" as an employee or as someone who can choose how they wish to operate.
3. Using Complex Legal Agreements
Trucking companies often use complex legal agreements to protect themselves. These might include waivers, indemnity clauses, and insurance policies that aim to limit the company's liability. Victims might unknowingly sign these documents, not fully understanding their implications. It's advisable to consult with a skilled attorney before signing any documents presented by the trucking company or their insurance provider.
Understanding these common tactics employed by trucking companies can better equip victims to navigate the aftermath of a truck accident. If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck accident, it's crucial to seek legal assistance promptly. At Abbey, Weitzenberg, Warren & Emery, our experienced team is dedicated to helping you navigate the complexities of truck accident claims and fight for the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation.