Gordon Elias & Seely, L.L.P.     800 - 773 - 6770
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Independent Truck Drivers: Insurance and Accident Defense

Independent truck drivers have it incredibly rough these days because they do not work for one specific trucking company. Instead, they can work for various trucking companies or for individuals that need a truck to move items from one destination to another. The number of independent truck drivers on the roads today has decreased due to increasing fuel prices, insurance costs, repair costs, federal regulations, and taxes. It is difficult for an individual to purchase a truck, maintain it, pay taxes on it, market their business, and drive the truck wherever the client wants the truck driven.

Truck Accident Liability

When a truck accident occurs, liability can be placed on the driver of the truck if the court so deems that the driver has been found to be at fault for the accident. For a truck driver to be found liable in a trucking accident the plaintiff’s attorney will need to prove the following three elements:

  • The plaintiff’s attorney must prove to the court that the defendant (truck driver or trucking company) owed the plaintiff a duty to exercise reasonable care to prevent injury under the circumstances while on the roads.
  • The plaintiff’s attorney must also prove that the defendant failed to exercise reasonable care by breaching the duty owed to the plaintiff.
  • The plaintiff’s attorney must finally prove that the defendant’s failure to apply reasonable care caused the plaintiff’s injury.

Truck Driver Insurance

All truck drivers, including ones working for a trucking company, should have truck driver liability insurance. This insurance is especially important for independent truck drivers. The majority of trucking companies will have liability insurance for their drivers, which means that the drivers do not need to acquire insurance on their own. Truck driver liability insurance ensures that the driver does not have to pay the cost of damage due to accidents. Having liability insurance is required by the federal government and is punishable by law if the driver does not have it.

Truck Driver Defenses

The two most common forms of truck driver defenses used in court today are comparative fault and assumption of risk. Comparative fault is when the court finds that the plaintiff’s negligence in the accident caused the negligence of the truck driver, in turn causing the plaintiff’s injuries. If it is determined that the plaintiff had the same amount of fault as the defendant or more fault, the plaintiff will not receive compensation. Risk of assumption occurs when the plaintiff subjectively knows the risk of an activity and willingly partakes in that activity. This will eliminate the plaintiff’s recovery of compensation.

Determining Fault

Determining fault in a trucking accident is more difficult to decipher than an accident between two passenger cars. The fault in a trucking accident can be placed on the driver of the truck, the driver of the other vehicle, the owner of the truck, the trucking company, the truck manufacturer, the brake maker and other parties.

The content of this website is provided for informational purposes only, and does not constitute legal advice. If you need help with a Truck Accident claim, consult an experienced trucking accident attorney from the law offices of Gordon Elias & Seely, L.L.P. by calling TOLL FREE: 800 - 773 - 6770 OR by filling out the Free Case Evaluation Form on this page.
Gordon, Elias & Seely, L.L.P.
1811 Bering Drive, Suite 300     Houston, TX 77057     Toll Free: 1-800-773-6770     Fax: 713-668-1980