Some trucking companies utilize more than one driver in a truck to maximize the time that the truck is driven when delivering a load, which can reduce the time that it takes to return for another delivery dramatically. The co-driver can relieve the primary driver once he has driven the maximum 11 hours in a work day under federal hours of service rules. If you or a loved one was injured in a truck wreck, it may have been the co-driver who was negligent or at least partially at fault in causing your injuries, and he may be responsible for compensating you.
Common Ways a Co-Driver Could Be to Blame for Your Truck Accident
A co-driver can face responsibility in a number of accidents—even when the primary truck driver is driving. Here are common scenarios when you may have a claim against a co-driver:
- Inexperience. The co-driver must have a valid commercial license and be otherwise experienced enough to drive a big-rig truck. If an unqualified or inexperienced driver causes your crash, he could be found negligent for causing it.
- Own negligence. When the co-driver was driving, he could be primarily liable if his own negligent driving, such as speeding or distracted driving, was the cause of your injuries.
- Dangerous conditions. A co-driver in the passenger seat may see that the truck driver is driving unsafely due to fatigue, intoxication, texting or other distracted driving practices, or illness. When he does nothing to stop the driver from continuing to drive, he could face partial liability for compensating you.
- Source of distraction. In some cases, the co-driver could distract the driver from focusing on the road by horsing around, showing him a cellphone or GPS, or playing loud music.
- Logbook violations. Both the primary trucker and the co-driver must accurately complete the logbook to show that they complied with federal hours of service regulations regarding driving and taking breaks. When the logbook is missing information, is inaccurate, or shows violations, the co-driver may be found partially negligent.
Any truck wreck case is complicated, and having a co-driver involved in your wreck only makes it more challenging to determine the liable parties for compensating you. You need an experienced truck wreck attorney who understands the federal regulations governing trucking companies and truckers and has a track record of success in settling and trying these cases. To learn more about our experience and how we can help you, contact us online or call us directly at 817.380.4888 to schedule your free case evaluation. We help injured victims throughout Texas including Arlington, North Richland, Grapevine, Bedford, Hurst, Euless, Irving and all points in between.