When you must file a claim for compensation for injuries you have suffered in an 18-wheeler truck accident, you have the burden of proving the negligence of the trucker and trucking company. Even if you believe you have an iron-clad case, they will most likely raise defenses to try to deny or reduce your claim. Part of proving your case is anticipating and overcoming their arguments.
Common Defenses Asserted in Truck Collision Cases
Depending on the cause of your crash, multiple parties, such as the truck driver, trucking company, shipper, broker, and maintenance facility, could be responsible for compensating you for your injuries. Common strategies they may employ to deny liability include:
- Comparative negligence. When using this defense, the negligent parties are claiming that you were partially at fault in causing the accident. Under Texas comparative negligence law, you would be barred from receiving any compensation if you were more than 50 percent at fault. If you were less than 50 percent to blame, the amount you receive would be reduced by your percentage of fault.
- Other parties. If there was more than one vehicle involved in your crash or there are multiple negligent parties, the trucking company could claim that another driver or party was to blame. Depending on the strength of their argument, you may need to file a claim with this third party as well to ensure that you receive what you deserve in your settlement.
- Statute of limitations. You must file your lawsuit within the statute of limitations, which is the deadline you have to file. In Texas, this time period is two years from the date of your accident. If you wait longer to file your complaint, the trucking company will argue that your case should be dismissed, and the judge will most likely agree with them.
- Mitigation of damages. Injured victims of a truck or other accident have a duty to attempt to reduce their damages. If you do not seek treatment soon after your crash or do not follow your doctor’s advice, the negligent parties could argue that this caused your injuries to worsen. They may also claim that you failed to mitigate your damages by getting unnecessary medical care.
If a negligent truck driver caused your injuries in an accident in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, our experienced truck accident attorneys could help you prove the liability of all negligent parties and defeat the arguments they use to avoid liability. Call our office today to schedule a free case evaluation to learn more about your legal options.