Who Is Liable in a Truck Accident?

Over 5050 people died in truck accidents in 2019!

Getting into a trucking accident can be one of the most horrifying incidents you will ever experience. A trucking accident can result in severe injuries that make you unable to work for a long time. You may end up in the hospital with mounting medical bills.

When this happens one of the things that may be at the forefront of your thoughts is whether or not you can receive compensation.

Unfortunately, in a trucking accident, it can sometimes be difficult to figure out who is liable. Here is a look at what you need to know to find out who is responsible for a trucking accident.

Who Is Liable?

A trucking accident is often one of the least straightforward road accidents that can occur. When a trucking accident happens there can be many liable people. Liability is dependent on the individuals, the company, or even the agency that is involved. If the accident was caused by a commercial truck this usually means that the driver is hired through a company.

However, sometimes the driver may be driving as an independent contractor. This means that they have no direct connection to the agency. When this happens the trucker is the one who is responsible. If the driver is directly working for the company then the company can be held liable for the trucking accident.

In some cases, the manufacturer of the truck is the one who is liable for a trucking accident.

The company that loaded the cargo can also be at fault for a truck accident. In rare cases, the city may even be held liable for the accident.

The Driver of the Truck

When a trucking accident occurs the driver of the truck is usually the first person that is pinpointed for liability. Often this is with just cause. If the driver was driving under the influence of alcohol or they were driving in a manner that can be deemed reckless then they can be held liable.

Truck drivers that drive long hours are supposed to take breaks. If a driver did not take appropriate measures to get the right amount of sleep or was driving at night when they should have been resting, they can be held liable if an accident happens.

The Driver’s Company

As mentioned before, one of the parties that can be held liable is the company that the driver works with. This is one of the more difficult aspects of a trucking case to prove. 

For a trucking company to be held liable for an accident they would have to be negligent in ensuring safety. It can be difficult to prove that an inspection of the vehicle was not done in a proper manner.

If it can be proven that they don’t encourage a healthy climate for the drivers of their vehicles and push them to meet unreasonable deadlines then liability can be proven. 

The Truck Owner

Sometimes trucking companies don’t own the trucks that they are using. They may be renting the truck that they give to the trucker.

When there is an accident the owner of the truck can be held liable. It is usually the responsibility truck owner to ensure that the truck is functioning properly and fit for the road. 

For example, the owner of the truck needs to ensure the brakes are working correctly in the vehicle. If negligence in taking care of the vehicle can be proven then the truck owner will be held liable.

The Manufacturer of the Vehicle

The manufacturer of the vehicle can also be held liable. This can happen if they did not manufacture parts that are sturdy and durable.

If the vehicle malfunctions and causes an accident on the road then the truck driver can be held liable for the accident.

Holding a manufacturer liable can be difficult to prove. Evidence will need to be gathered about the condition of the vehicle. However, when it can be proven that the manufacturer is liable then they are usually solely responsible for compensation.

Cargo Loaders

Sometimes accidents are caused when the contents of the vehicle spill out into the roadway because they have not been properly secured to the vehicle. When this happens those who loaded the cargo on the vehicle will be held responsible. 

If the cargo falls off and damages another vehicle or causes injury, the cargo loaders will have to accept liability.

The City

In some cases, the city can be held liable for a trucking accident if they fail to make the roads safe and it leads to an accident. It is the responsibility of those in charge of a city to ensure that the roads are properly paved, and free of hazardous materials that can cause accidents.

Hire a Lawyer

As you can see a truck accident lawyers case can become complicated very quickly. It is usually not as straightforward as other accident cases. 

This is because often there are many different people involved with putting a truck on the road, especially if it is a company vehicle. To navigate this complex road it is always best to hire a trucking accident lawyer to assist you. They can secure evidence and get expert witnesses that can help your case.

Get Compensation

Getting compensation for an accident involving a truck can sometimes be difficult but it is not impossible. You just need to find out who is liable. 

This can be the most difficult aspect of the case. However, if you hire a competent attorney you should be able to find the liable party and get the compensation that you deserve.

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