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How do I prove liability in a truck accident that resulted in severe injuries for me and my passengers?

The key to proving fault in a truck accident is to know who is at fault for the accident, whether that may be solely another driver, or perhaps both you and the other driver were at fault. This information is typically assessed at the scene by the police and incorporated into an accident report.

However, there is another element that is vitally important to proving liability in a truck accident case, and that is “negligence.” There are a number of parties that may be at-fault and considered to be negligent may include the trucker, but that is not always the case. Negligence for a truck driver could involve distracted driving, cutting off another vehicle, falling asleep at the wheel or texting while driving.

Depending on the details of the accident, the trucking company may also be at fault if they are found to be in violation of state or federal laws, such as negligent hiring of personnel to drive a truck that has a bad driving record. The cargo company may also be found negligent if the truck’s cargo is not properly loaded or the truck is overloaded in violation of the rules and regulations.

In other circumstances the manufacturer of the truck may be held liable for negligence as a result of having made a defective vehicle, such as a poorly or improperly designed hitch that detaches without warning. This would be a defective product lawsuit as well.

And, the trucking company could be held liable for negligence under the legal theory of “respondeat superior” which means the trucking company could be held responsible for a crash caused by the trucker provided the driver is an employee and was acting within the scope of their duties at the time of the accident.

If both of you are responsible to a certain degree, then you come under the modified comparative fault doctrine, also referred to as “proportionate responsibility” that is followed in Texas. Proportionate responsibility means there is a formula of sorts used for comparing the fault of each driver involved in an accident. The compensation that may be received can be reduced by the percentage of “your” negligence that contributed to the crash.

Additionally, Texas also follows the 51 percent bar rule which means that if a driver is 51 percent or more at fault for the accident, he or she cannot recover “any” compensation. At 50 percent responsibility, you would be able to receive some compensation, but at 51 percent, there is no compensation.

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