Tractor-trailers and other commercial vehicles have large blind spots. A trucker who fails to check these areas before changing lanes or executing a turn may have unreasonably endangered others on the road. The truck accident lawyers at the Law Office of Matt Uhrig have guided Columbia residents through the process of holding commercial drivers and their employers accountable for careless behavior. If you were injured in a tractor-trailer crash, you may have a right to compensation.Commercial Drivers Must Check Their Blind Spots
A person hurt in an accident caused by a truck driver’s failure to check blind spots may have a valid claim. To proceed, the individual typically files a lawsuit in Missouri state court that alleges negligence. The named defendants often would be the truck driver and his or her employer, since Missouri follows the rule of respondeat superior. This allows employers to be held accountable for an employee’s actions if he or she was acting within the scope and course of the employment relationship when taking those actions.
A standard negligence claim would allege that:
- The commercial driver owed a duty of care to the plaintiff;
- He or she breached that duty, such as by failing to check a blind spot;
- Failure to check the blind spot, or another type of careless conduct, directly caused the victim’s harm; and
- He or she was forced to incur actual damages.
The duty that all drivers, truckers included, owe to others on the road is one of reasonable care. People should avoid needlessly hazardous behavior that endangers those in the vicinity. In most situations, failing to check a blind spot before changing lanes, especially in a tractor-trailer or another large vehicle, generally would be a breach of this duty.
The causation requirement consists of two components. Causation in fact, or factual cause, arises when the defendant’s behavior was an essential link in the chain of events that caused the accident. In other words, if the truck driver had checked his or her blind spots, the accident would not have occurred. Legal causation is a matter of foreseeability. If the plaintiff’s injuries were a foreseeable consequence of the defendant’s behavior, that requirement is met.
Victims who successfully prove their negligence cases are usually entitled to collect compensatory damages from defendants that are deemed liable. These damages may consist of reimbursement for lost wages and medical expenses as well as compensation for physical injuries and emotional distress.
In the event that the victim contributed to causing the accident, Missouri law still permits him or her to pursue compensation. This state follows the rule of pure comparative negligence, meaning that an injured individual may recover damages from a defendant that is proven to be liable to any extent. The total compensation award will be reduced by the percentage of the victim’s fault.Discuss Your Tractor-Trailer Crash Claim with a Jefferson City Lawyer
If you have been hurt in a tractor-trailer crash caused by a negligent driver near Jefferson City, you should consult the experienced attorneys at the Law Office of Matt Uhrig to discuss your case. Litigating cases against trucking companies often involves resolving complex evidentiary issues and dealing with insurers that are reluctant to pay out claims. We have significant experience handling these issues and can help you in the aftermath of an accident. To schedule a free case evaluation, call (573) 657-2050 or visit our contact page. Our clients have come from Ashland, Columbia, and other communities across the state.