It is can be tricky to determine fault for an articulated truck accident, especially one that involves a co-driver. It is common for multiple people to drive a truck, such as in cases where they have the main driver and a separate one who operates the vehicle to give the former a break. The one driving when the tractor trailer accident occurs is largely guilty for their actions, but they and that other driver might just be held accountable for any consequent injuries. If you have been involved in a crash of this sort, consult a skilled truck accident lawyer to know your legal rights and options.
Proving Negligence for a Collision
To succeed in the accident claim, demonstrating the following aspects of negligence is a must.
- The defendant owed a duty of care to the plaintiff. In other words, that co-driver, lead driver, or their employer had an obligation to apply a reasonable level of care when driving to avoid injury to other people.
- The defendant party breached that duty.
- Said violation brought about the accident
- The plaintiff party suffered damages due to the accident.
This case may appear straightforward, but it is trickier to prove negligence for a co-driver truck accident than a standard one involving just one driver. Firstly, it is essential to find out who was operating the automobile by looking at their HOS log. Determining whether that supporting driver was on their sleeper berth or the passenger’s seat when the accident happened, is also essential.
For all purposes and intents, if they were in the berth, it is impossible to hold them liable for the accident. Such drivers are at great risk of injuries when resting in the berth during the accident. In the event a trucker has been hurt in it when not operating the rig, they are entitled to file an accident lawsuit for compensation.
Which Party Is Responsible
The main driver has the duty to keep injuries from happening, that another driver must ensure that the vehicle operates safely. However, to hold the latter driver responsible for an accident, one must show that they were somehow negligent for it. If they are aware of an unsafe condition which makes it tough for the main driver to control their truck, like driver fatigue, then the other driver has to intervene. The latter might be held legally responsible if they knowingly permitted the other one to be behind the wheel when intoxicated or tired.