One of the most challenging aspects of handing a truck accident claim or lawsuit is proving liability. In most truck accidents, more vehicles are involved, and therefore, multiple parties may have contributed to the accident. Furthermore, collisions involving trucks are more catastrophic than other car crashes. Consequently, insurance companies do everything to avoid liability.
Although there are regulations for trucking companies and truck drivers, many do not comply, and negligence plays a role in many truck accidents. Since many aspects are involved in determining fault in a truck accident, these cases can be complicated. Click here to find out why.
Some parties that may be responsible for a truck accident include:
A truck driver
In many truck accidents, the truck driver is usually at fault for engaging in negligent driving behaviors like distracted driving, overspeeding, violation of traffic rules, drowsy driving, impaired driving, trailing another vehicle too closely, etc. Truck drivers are also obligated to inspect their trucks to ensure proper conditions before starting a journey. If a negligent truck driver is at fault for an accident, they may be wholly or partially liable for the damages.
The trucking company
A trucking carrier may be liable for a truck accident because they are responsible for the actions of the truck drivers they employ. They must adequately hire, train, supervise and terminate rogue truck drivers. If a trucking carrier hires a driver who is not well trained or has several convictions on their driving record, they are responsible if the driver causes a truck accident. Note that truck companies are also liable for the negligent actions of their drivers.
Manufacturer of the truck or its components
Some truck accidents result from defective truck components. For instance, the truck’s brakes fail, a tire bursts, or the steering wheel fails, and the driver cannot control the truck leading to an accident. Although such a situation may occur due to inadequate truck maintenance, it could be that the part was defective from the very start. Defective trucks or components may form the basis for holding the manufacturer responsible for a truck accident.
Distributor or shipper
If a truck accident results because a truck was improperly loaded with cargo, the distributor or shipper may be liable for the accident. This is based on the ground that they failed to distribute the weight evenly in the truck or secure the cargo correctly. When cargo shifts in a truck during transit, the truck may overturn or swerve, leading to a catastrophic accident.
Governmental institutions responsible for maintaining roads may share the responsibility in a truck accident that occurred due to poor road conditions. Third-party contractors who work for such entities may also be liable for truck accidents due to shoddy road work.
Other parties may be accountable for a truck accident, including:
- Recruiting companies.
- Dispatching companies.
- Background check companies.
- Leasing companies that own the truck.
- Truck maintenance and repair companies.
- Other parties involved in the operation of a fleet.
Third parties might be liable for a truck accident if their negligence played a part.