When Can You Sue a Trucking Company in Connecticut?

Posted on 02/06/24

Sue a Trucking Company in ConnecticutWhen you’re seriously hurt in a car crash, an insurance claim might not be sufficient to cover your medical expenses, lost time at work, and other financial burdens. Filing a lawsuit may provide a better route to compensation.

Your first inclination might be to sue the other driver. However, drivers are only one of several parties who may be at fault — particularly in truck crashes. Learn who may have legal liability in truck accident claims and when you can sue a trucking company after an injury accident in Connecticut. 

Potentially Liable Parties in Truck Accidents

Truck accidents are often more serious than typical car accidents and frequently more complicated, as a truck accident attorney will tell you. Many parties are involved in the process of maintaining commercial trucks, loading cargo, and driving routes.

In any legal action, truck accident victims may file claims against multiple defendants, including the following:

  • Truck drivers
  • Trucking companies
  • Truck owners
  • Trucking maintenance companies
  • Cargo loaders and/or owners
  • Vehicle or equipment manufacturers 

If you can prove an accident occurred because of the negligence of any of these parties, they may owe you compensation for your injuries.

Trucking Company Responsibilities

The trucking industry is a big business; it’s also a highly regulated one. With fleets of tractor-trailers constantly traversing our nation’s interstates, country roads, and city streets, strong regulations help keep drivers and citizens safe. Therefore, trucking companies must follow strict rules regarding how much weight a truck can haul, how long drivers can work, and how much insurance they must carry.

Under a legal concept known as respondeat superior (meaning “let the master answer”), trucking companies may shoulder liability for the actions of their employees. In short, the trucking company may be liable if a driver had an accident while working for the employer’s benefit.

However, many trucking companies will try to evade legal responsibility by arguing that the driver was an independent contractor. An experienced Connecticut truck accident attorney can help you navigate this complicated issue by investigating who owned the big rig, who maintained it, and who paid for insurance and registration.

When You Can Sue a Trucking Company 

While the driver of a commercial truck is often liable for an accident, the trucking company may share responsibility in the following cases:

  • Violations of the law: When trucking companies violate state or federal laws, it may be easier for truck accident victims to win compensation.
  • Negligent hiring practices: Hiring drivers without a current commercial driver’s license (CDL) or with a history of driving violations can lead to accidents on the road. 
  • Inadequate maintenance: Truck owners must keep their fleets in good working condition to avoid malfunctions. This means performing the necessary inspections, maintenance, and repairs.  
  • Improper cargo loading: Overweight or incorrectly loaded cargo can contribute to a crash. 
  • Not conducting drug tests: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires companies to perform random tests on drivers to prevent them from operating a vehicle while intoxicated.
  • Permitting employee violations: When trucking companies know their drivers are violating FMCSA regulations, they must discipline their employees. If they don’t, those companies may be liable for any accidents that occur as a consequence.

Need Help After a Truck Accident? Contact the Law Offices of James A. Welcome

With over 19 years of experience, our skilled Connecticut truck accident attorneys know victims often have a painful, overwhelming, and expensive road to recovery. Don’t face it alone. Call the Law Offices of James A. Welcome at (475) 241-0824 or contact us online to set up a consultation.