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Who Does the Defense Lawyer In A Truck Lawsuit Work For?

Usually, the same lawyer works for both the trucking company and the truck driver. But not necessarily.

It depends on the dispute. If the defense is fighting only about whether money is owed to the victim, or how much, the same lawyer can make the same argument on behalf of both the trucking company and the driver. So only one lawyer is necessary.

But suppose that the trucking company – or its insurer – wants to say “The driver was acting beyond the scope of his authority, so the trucking company should not be liable for what he did.” This could include a situation where the driver decides to drop his kid off at school; or where the driver is given a route by the trucking company, and decides he wants to take a different route.

In each of those situations, the trucking company could try to argue that it should not have to pay for damages caused by the driver.

If the trucking company made that argument, its interest would be different from the driver’s; the driver would want the company to be responsible for his accident, but the company would not want to be responsible.

The same lawyer could not argue, on the one hand (for the driver), that the driver was authorized in his route selection, and (also, but for the company), that the driver was not allowed to use that route. Because the two arguments contradict each other, the trucking company and the truck driver would each need their own lawyer.

But there’s a practical side. If the trucking company thinks it’s going to lose on the issue of whether it’s responsible for the victim’s damages, it will probably offend the jury if it argues otherwise. So it might decide not to assert that defense. And in that instance, it would not need a separate lawyer.

There is another situation where there would be two lawyers.

Often, the truck driver has his own insurance, in addition to the insurance carried by the trucking company. The driver’s insurance would hire a lawyer for the driver; but not for the trucking company. The trucking company’s insurance would hire a lawyer for the trucking company.

I have been a lawyer over 30 years. The fewer lawyers on the other side the better; it’s harder for them to beat up on the victim if there is only one lawyer. If you’ve been hurt by a truck, talk with an experienced Cincinnati Truck Accident Attorney about the case. Call me, William Strubbe, at 513-621-4775.

Because all situations are different, and because there may be other facts pertaining to your case that I don’t know about, you should not rely on this answer for legal advice. I am not your attorney, and no lawyer client relationship has been formed.

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