Determining Truck Accident Liability
If you’ve ever been in an accident with a tractor-trailer or other large commercial truck, you know it is a frightening ordeal. When an accident involves this type of larger vehicle, there is a much higher risk of serious injury. The higher risk for serious injury is one of the reasons truck accident cases are complex. Determining truck accident liability can be challenging for several reasons.
Why is Determining Truck Accident Liability So Challenging?
Several factors make determining truck accident liability challenging. In many accidents involving a big rig, there are multiple parties involved. All parties involved must be considered when determining fault. When large vehicles are involved in an accident, substantial insurance policies are typically also involved. With more at risk, insurance companies will often go to greater extremes to avoid an at-fault finding. Accidents involving semi-trucks and larger commercial vehicles have a much higher chance of causing severe injury, which means the damages are often more significant than the average personal injury claim. When a case involves severe injuries with extensive medical treatment, it is more likely that the case will take longer to resolve, and the parties involved will fight an at-fault finding.
Which Parties Can Be Held Responsible in a Truck Accident?
The parties that can be held responsible for an accident involving a commercial truck extend beyond the drivers involved. Other parties that could be held liable for a truck accident include the trucking company, other companies responsible for components on the truck, or other companies responsible for the cargo. The complexities involved when determining truck accident liability require the assistance of a skilled truck accident attorney who knows how to examine case evidence and determine which parties should be sued for damages.
When is the Truck Driver Liable for the Truck Accident?
In most accidents, the “other” driver is considered first for liability. Truck accidents are sometimes the same, with the truck driver held liable for the collision if their actions caused or contributed to the incident and the resulting injuries. A truck driver may be held responsible for an accident if they were speeding, in violation of federal driving regulations, not behaving in a reasonably safe manner, driving under the influence, driving recklessly or distracted while driving.
When is the Owner of the Truck Liable for the Truck Accident?
Did you know that big rigs are not always owned by the trucking company or the truck driver? Sometimes they are leased from a third-party owner. The third-party owner providing the commercial truck for use can be held liable for the accident under certain circumstances, including failing to inspect the truck or the truck’s systems or failing to provide maintenance for the truck. These tasks must be completed according to government regulations, or the third-party owner may be liable for an accident caused by failures.
When is the Trucking Company Liable for the Truck Accident?
Sometimes, depending on the cause of the accident, the trucking company may be liable for a trucking accident. If the trucking company’s actions contributed to the accident, they might be considered responsible. For example, if the trucking company conducted incomplete equipment inspections, engaged in improper safety procedures, or made unsafe demands on their truck driver, their actions may be deemed as contributing or causing the accident.
When is the Truck/Parts Manufacturer Liable for the Truck Accident?
When a truck accident is caused by a defective truck or truck component, the manufacturer of the truck or truck component may be held liable for the accident. Defects may occur in any type of part, original or aftermarket, and have the potential to cause accidents even if the vehicle is both accurately built and properly maintained.
When is the Cargo/Loading Company Liable for the Truck Accident?
Trucks need to be loaded in a precise way to ensure cargo is secured safely for travel. If cargo is loaded improperly or overloaded, it can cause a truck accident. Improper cargo loading can result in equipment or cargo falling off or out of the truck or causing other problems/malfunctions that can lead to truck accidents. If you were involved in a truck accident and need help proving liability for your personal injury claim, please get in touch with the Carrollton personal injury law offices of Hudson Law. We put Personal back into Personal Injury Law.