The passenger liability in a truck accident is not inconsequential. Northeast Philly courts look at the behavior of a truck’s co-driver or passenger to determine if this person may have in fact been the cause of the accident. It’s not always the driver or yourself. Victims who are struck by trucks may sustain serious injuries, long-term medical care and possibly death. To think that a person who wasn’t even driving the vehicle caused all this chaos can enrage people.
Furthermore, the pain and suffering caused by this trauma demands fair compensation. The loss of certain lifestyle necessities such as a second income because of the death of a loved one also demands fair compensation. While there are many options available to accident victims and their families, the options may entail extensive paperwork and court appearances or simply could be too confusing for someone not from a legal background to decipher. In cases like these, Cordisco & Saile can counsel you on what exactly you are dealing with in our free consultation. But if that sounds like too much pressure for you, then try reading our ebook, “Don’t crash again! A car accident victim’s guide to maximizing recovery.” It’s written just for people like you who have suffered a terrible accident and are trying to get their world back in order.
How can a co-driver be liable?
A truck co-driver can be liable for your wreck with a commercial truck in a number of ways that include, but are not limited to:
- arguing with the driver;
- distracting the driver via horseplay or loud noise, including distracting the driver with his or her texting activity;
- failing to fulfill duties such as safe navigation;
- grabbing the wheel;
- ignoring a driver under the influence;
- being under the influence; and
- physically harming the driver.
Another important factor in regard to passenger liability: Truck accident lawsuits have been known to assign similarly high levels of responsibility to co-drivers, just as much as could be contributed to the driver, depending on the circumstances.
All truckers are expected to know how to drive a commercial vehicle of that size. A co-driver is not meant simply to sit and view the scenery without any knowledge of how to operate the truck and handle the load. Additionally, passenger liability in truck accidents extends to augmenting, rather than making difficult, the actions of the driver during the normal course of work.
Passenger liability, truck accident or otherwise, will have more weight to it in the eyes of the prosecuting attorney if the co-driver lacks the proper type of commercial license. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, this means the correct type of commercial license within the correct class of A, B, C; fulfilling certain age requirements; and meeting special endorsements and restrictions.
Who will say what?
On the road, drivers log their time behind the wheel. This can help provide some information about whether the driver or co-driver is liable.
It’s not uncommon for a driver and a co-driver to stick by each other and the trucking company. This is especially true if the trucking company is the kind of company that is determined to prove you wrong. They may instruct drivers not to talk. Such companies often have resourceful insurance companies who know how to keep certain bits of information — such as logbooks — out of your hands. However, depending on the circumstances and the life situations of the drivers, each driver might blame the other for the accident.
All of the above just points to the need for professional guidance when it comes to your claim because what happened inside the truck cabin prior to the accident is not so easy to determine. Even with professional guidance, it’s hard. The experience of legal professionals such as Cordisco & Saile proves invaluable.
Our years of handling these types of cases can help strengthen your claim. We know that trucking professionals will be required to study how the wreck happened. We know that medical experts will be required to counter claims against your injury. We know how you’ve suffered.
If you are involved in an East Philly accident with a big commercial truck, we won’t waste your time. We understand how to handle insurance plus all the deadlines and investigations related to passenger liability. Truck accident lawyers Salle & Salle LLP at 215-642-2335 can get you in for a free consultation today.