When a truck accident victim files a lawsuit against a truck driver and trucking company, the burden of proof is on them to prove their case with a preponderance of the evidence. In most cases, they will have to prove that the defendants named in their suit acted negligently and that their negligence caused the accident in question. The victim may say that the defendants were negligent in:
- Failing to follow FMSCA hours-of-service regulations
- Driving while under the influence of alcohol
- Driving at an excessive rate of speed
- Failing to properly train or supervise truck drivers
- Failing to properly inspect and maintain trucks
However, the defendants in a trucking lawsuit have the legal right to defend themselves against the allegations made by the alleged victim. One of the most common trucking defenses is establishing that the alleged victim’s own negligence contributed to their own accident or caused it entirely.
Kentucky is a pure comparative negligence state
In pure comparative negligence states like Kentucky, accident victims who are partially responsible for their own accident can still recover damages to cover their medical expenses and lost wages. However, the amount they receive will be reduced based on the percentage of fault allocated to them by the judge or jury. For example, if a truck accident victim was speeding through an intersection and was found to be 30% liable for their own accident, their $100,000 in awarded damages will be reduced to $70,000.
To defend a trucking company, the attorney’s job will be to establish that the crash would not have occurred had it not been for the victim’s negligence. The defense may present witness testimony, expert testimony, police reports, and other evidence to prove this. If the defendants can successfully prove that the alleged victim was 100% at fault for the crash, they cannot be found liable for the accident.
Proving another party’s negligence is one of the strongest defense strategies used in truck accident suits. An attorney can help you build your defense and make sure you do not have to take responsibility for an accident you did not cause.