Have You Been Injured by a Negligent Commercial Driver?

In the State of Texas, if you’re injured in a traffic crash because the driver of a commercial vehicle was negligent, after you’ve been seen by a healthcare provider, schedule a consultation at once to discuss your options and rights with a Houston traffic accident attorney.

If someone who is driving a commercial vehicle should injure you in a traffic accident, who pays for your medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages? The driver, or that driver’s employer? The answer usually depends on whether the driver was off-duty or “on the clock.”

In Texas, which party pays for an injured accident victim’s damages will hinge on whether a commercial driver, at the time the collision took place, was operating within the “course and scope” of his or her job duties.

What Should You Know About Vicarious Liability?

A legal concept known as “vicarious liability” typically makes employers in Texas liable for negligent employees when those employees are negligent within the “course and scope” of their employment duties.

Vicarious liability transfers liability for on-the-job negligence from employees to employers. For instance, let’s suppose that a commercial delivery driver on a delivery route rolls through a stop sign and collides with someone who is riding a bicycle.

In Texas, under the vicarious liability principle, the driver’s employer will probably be assigned liability for the bicyclist’s injuries and damages because the delivery driver was acting in the course and scope of that driver’s employment duties at the time of the accident.

Will Vicarious Liability Apply in Your Own Accident?

If you’re injured by a commercial driver in a Texas motor vehicle accident, whether vicarious liability is applicable will depend on answers to the following questions:

  1.  Was the commercial vehicle’s driver an independent contractor or an employee?
  2.  Did the traffic crash occur within the “course and scope” of the driver’s job duties?
  3. Was the employee’s negligence intentional or accidental?

When Doesn’t Vicarious Liability Apply?

If an independent contractor – and not an employee – is driving the commercial vehicle that injures you, liability will not transfer, and the employer or company that owns the vehicle will not be assigned liability.

And even when the person driving the commercial vehicle that injured you is an employee who is “on the clock,” liability does not transfer if that employee was not operating within the course and scope of his or her employment duties.

For instance, if a delivery truck driver drinks too much alcohol at lunch and then returns to work and causes a traffic accident, his or her employer is not liable because unlawful behavior – driving while intoxicated – is not part of the driver’s employment duties.

When Should You Call an Accident Attorney?

If you sustain a personal injury in a traffic crash caused by the driver of a commercial vehicle, Texas law may entitle you to recover compensation for your medical costs, your lost income, and your related damages and losses.

If you’re severely injured or disabled due to that accident, you will need to recover the maximum amount of compensation that is available. If the other motorist was an employee in a company vehicle, you can probably bring an injury claim against the employer as well as the driver.

Immediately after you’ve been seen and treated by a medical professional, call a Texas personal injury lawyer who will explain your rights and options and suggest the best way to proceed – which may be bringing a personal injury lawsuit against the driver and the driver’s employer.

How Do Attorneys Help Injured Texas Accident Victims?

If you’re injured by a driver who is negligent, a Texas personal injury lawyer will provide your first legal consultation with no charge or obligation. If you and your lawyer agree to take legal action, your lawyer will fight aggressively for the compensation and justice you deserve.

If the other motorist was operating a commercial vehicle and acting in the course and scope of his or her employment duties, the driver’s employer may be vicariously liable, and you can probably bring a personal injury claim against both the employer and the driver.

Your lawyer will investigate how the crash happened, review the evidence, and speak with any witnesses. Your lawyer will then begin negotiations to recover your compensation. Most injury claims in Texas are resolved privately when the attorneys for both sides work out a settlement.

What If Your Injury Claim Cannot Be Settled Privately?

However, if liability for your injuries is disputed, or if the liable party or parties fail to offer you a reasonable settlement amount, your lawyer will take your personal injury case to a jury trial in civil court.

At a personal injury trial, your Houston traffic accident attorney will present the evidence of liability, explain to the jury how you were hurt, and ask the jury to order the party or parties with liability to compensate you for your injuries, lost wages, and other accident-related losses.

Personal injury lawyers in Texas represent their injured clients on a contingent fee basis, so you’ll pay an attorney no fee upfront and no fee until you have recovered your compensation. If for any reason you are not compensated, you’ll owe no fee to your attorney.

Let Morgan Bourque, Attorney at Law, Fight on Your Behalf

Texas law provides a two-year deadline for filing a personal injury claim, but if you’ve been injured by negligence, contact a lawyer immediately after you’ve been treated for your injuries. Your lawyer should see the evidence and speak to the witnesses as quickly as possible.

However, there’s no need to search extensively for a personal injury lawyer in the Houston area. At Morgan Bourque, Attorney at Law, our attorneys have over fifty years of combined legal experience. We will put that experience to work for you.

We’ve established a record of success and a reputation for extraordinary client service. If a negligent driver injures you in the Houston area, contact Morgan Bourque, Attorney at Law, by calling 713-766-3733. We are located in The Woodlands at 24 Waterway Avenue, Suite 260.