A truck accident can be a traumatic and life-altering experience for anybody involved. It may result in severe injury, disability, and significant financial loss. Luckily, you can recover compensation from the responsible party. However, determining who is responsible can be quite difficult.
You may seek the legal help of a qualified truck accident lawyer in your case. The lawyer can handle your claim and its complexities on your behalf. Here are some reasons why determining who is at fault for a truck accident can get complicated.
The Truck Accident May Involve Several Vehicles
A truck accident can involve several vehicles, leading to a multi-vehicle collision. The higher the number of vehicles involved in the crash, the harder it is to determine liability. The truck driver’s actions may have triggered the chain reaction. Other times, the actions of several drivers may have contributed to the crash. As a result, more than one driver may be liable for the incident.
Multiple Liable Parties
Multiple parties may be at-fault for your truck accident. Thus, determining liability isn’t as straightforward as in a passenger car accident. These potential at-fault parties include the following:
The Truck Driver
All drivers, including truck drivers, owe other road users a duty of care. That means they must follow the traffic rules and drive safely to avoid harming others. If a truck driver acts negligently, they may be liable for the accident.
Negligence by drivers is one of the primary causes of truck accidents. Examples of negligence include:
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Driving too fast
- Driving while distracted
- Failure to check the vehicle before setting out
The Trucking Company
In some cases, the trucking company that employs the truck driver may be liable for the accident. For instance, the company may be at fault for negligent hiring practices. A good example is hiring a driver without verifying their credentials and experience.
Trucking companies are responsible for maintaining their vehicles. Truck maintenance helps ensure that the vehicles are safe to drive. If a company fails to maintain its vehicles, you may hold it liable for resulting accidents.
Employers must provide their truck drivers with adequate training. Doing so ensures that drivers can safely operate a truck. A trucking company might offer insufficient training. Thus, they may be liable for resulting crashes.
Trucking companies and drivers must abide by certain hours of service regulations. These rules limit the amount of time a commercial driver can spend working. They aim to ensure that drivers get enough rest and avoid fatigue that could lead to unsafe driving.
A trucking company may encourage its drivers to exceed the maximum driving hours. Thus, plaintiffs may hold the company liable for any accidents that occur as a result.
The Truck Manufacturer
Truck manufacturers must ensure that the vehicles they produce are safe to operate. Failure to do so can lead to serious truck accidents. You can hold a truck manufacturer liable for damages if a defective part caused the crash. Examples of such defects include defective suspension components and faulty brakes and tires.
The Cargo Loaders
Cargo loaders ensure that cargo is well distributed and adequately secured. Doing so keeps the load from shifting during transport and causing an accident. If the loaders are negligent, they may be liable for a resulting crash.
The Service Center
The service center performs repairs and maintains trucks. They ensure that the vehicle is safe to drive. A service center may be negligent when repairing or maintaining a truck. Thus, the center may be liable for an accident resulting from their reckless actions.
A Government Agency
A poorly designed and maintained road can lead to truck accidents. A government agency may be responsible for maintaining roads to ensure they’re safe for use. Thus, you may hold the agency liable for a truck accident resulting from their negligence.
Determining liability in a truck accident case can quickly get complicated. Understanding the why can help you prepare for the legal process ahead.