Who Is Liable for a Truck Accident?
Liability in trucking accidents is a very important topic since it is crucial to holding the right party responsible for any injuries or damages inflicted. It is also important in knowing where to recover full compensation during the incident.
Trucking accidents, at the very least, involve a whole bunch of individuals. Usually, there are also agencies and companies involved, depending on the type of truck and the type of trucker. If it’s a commercial truck, then the driver may be an employee of a company that ships items. It’s also possible that the driver drives their own truck as an independent contractor and is in no way connected to any company or agency. In cases where the trucker is an independent contractor, then they can be held liable for the incident.
Knowing the connection that applies in a particular situation is important for the victim that is seeking compensation. Having a lawyer from the Law Offices of Michael Cordova to help you make your legal claim is even more important. The lawyer can do an in-depth investigation on your behalf to figure out who is to blame.
Who Else Is Potentially Responsible?
There are many other people who might be potentially responsible in the event of a truck accident. If the truck was manufactured with a defect, then the manufacturer of the truck may be held partially responsible during an incident. The same case applies for the manufacturer of the pulleys and ropes that secure items and equipment on the truck. The agency that hired the trucker may not have performed adequate inspections. There are also a variety of third parties that could be connected to the accident. The very last person on that list is the trucker, who may either be held fully liable or share that liability with other parties.
The Case of the Truck Driver
There are many reasons why the driver of a commercial truck may be held liable for an accident. For starters, they may have broken the law, become distracted or had an operational issue within the vehicle. If the driver consumes alcohol or drugs, then they may be held solely liable for the damages caused.
There are also other factors to be considered that may increase the chances of an accident happening. These include driving at night, driving while sleepy, driving long hours on a single trip and preexisting health conditions. Quite often, most or all of the liability for property damage or personal injury is held by the truck driver, without the company or any other party being at fault.
The Case of the Trucking Company
The responsible party can often be the company that hired the truck driver. The difficult part is proving this, although an expert lawyer should be able to dig into the matter and expose any issues the company might have. These issues can vary, including giving the driver unrealistic expectations that may cause them to work extra hard to meet deadlines and expectations, thereby increasing the chances of an accident occurring. They might also be a case of the company cutting corners around safety policies in order to save time or money. It could also be that the company did not carry out adequate inspections on both the vehicle and the driver.
Many investigations that are carried out on the matter reveal that the manufacturer of the truck and the trucking company share some liability where cutting corners to increase speed and faulty equipment are involved. Again, an expert lawyer should be able to uncover these issues during their investigations into the matter.
The Case of the Truck Owner
Sometimes, the trucking company does not own the truck that it uses. In that case, the owner of the truck may be held liable in a trucking accident. They are responsible for maintaining the tires and internal works of the truck in good working conditions, checking the engine and inspecting the overall vehicle. They are responsible for maintaining any fluids inside the vehicle, the brakes, tires and electronic system. The maintenance and inspection of these trucks are governed by federal regulations. If these regulations are not followed, then the owner can be held responsible for damages.
The Case of the Manufacturer and Cargo Loaders
In some cases, a truck accident involves the cargo loaded onto the truck. In cases where the cargo wasn’t inspected fully or loaded properly by the loader, then the loader may hold liability if the equipment or items fall off and damage another vehicle on the road or cause harm to persons.
There is also a case to be made for the transfer of liability to the manufacturers of different truck parts. In case there was a defect in a truck part and that defect led to a truck accident, the part manufacturer can be held liable for the accident.
The parts that end up causing an accident can be many. It could be malfunctioning electronics, a blowout in the tires, faulty brakes, mechanical failure or a whole host of other things. When such situations arise, the manufacturer of the faulty pasts often retains full liability for damages caused by the accident and is responsible for compensating the victims.
The Importance of a Lawyer
There is only so much you can do as the victim of a truck accident. Your knowledge of the law and your intuition about who to blame for the incident are both probably going to be incorrect. You might also have a hard time gathering and providing evidence for your case on whom to blame for the incident. This is why it is very important to hire a lawyer.
A lawyer hired for a claim may support a victim in finding evidence to prove who is liable for a truck accident. They will conduct an investigation, discovering who is truly at fault and responsible for paying damages in a truck accident. That way, things are easier when you decide to bring a claim to court.