Truck Accident Liability Extends Beyond The Driver
How Truck Accident Liability May Not Be Due To A Negligent Truck Driver
Trucking accidents are some of the most devastating of roadway accidents. Commercial trucks are much larger than passenger cars and trucks which often results in severe, life-threatening injuries to drivers and passengers of these smaller, more lightweight vehicles. Sometimes, the accident is the result of a negligent truck driver, but at other times, the truck driver is just as much a victim as those in the other vehicle.
A trucking accident case starts with determining truck accident liability. There are many different parties who may have some responsibility for the accident, so a thorough investigation is necessary in almost every case. The process involves gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses, reviewing police reports and employment records to determine just who may have played a part in the accident.
Parties Who May Be Responsible For Truck Accident Liability
Circumstances in every truck accident differ, which is why it is so important to examine all of the facts surrounding the case and the situation that led to the accident. In some situations, it is possible for more than one party to be held liable for the accident. Those parties include:
- A Negligent Truck Driver. A negligent truck driver may be found to be responsible for the accident – in total or in part. In general, truck driver liability involves reckless actions on the part of the driver, such as:
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Driving while fatigued
- Violating traffic laws
- Violating Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulations
- Truck Driver’s Employer. The truck driver’s employer can be found liable for the accident in two different ways. The first is through the principle of vicarious liability. This principle holds that an employee’s negligence is passed on to the employer. The second way the employer could be held liable is if the employer’s independent actions contributed to the accident. Those may include:
- Failure to conduct background check screening on the driver to ensure a safe driving record.
- Failure to properly train the driver.
- Failure to monitor the driver’s actions.
- Failure to conduct routine drug testing.
- Requiring the driver to work hours that exceeded federal regulations.
- Failure to maintain the vehicle.
- Product Manufacturer. In some cases, truck accident liability can be traced to a defect in the truck itself. In this situation, the truck manufacturer, or the manufacturer of the defective component, could be held liable. Defective components might include:
- Steering columns
- Cargo Loaders. If a third party loads the truck and improper loading contributed to the accident, that third party loader could be responsible for the accident. Improper tie-downs and off-balance loads can both result in items moving around during transit. Trucks and trailers can be thrown off-balance, cargo may come loose and fall onto the road or hit other vehicles, causing an accident or property damage.
- Maintenance Crew. If a third party conducts maintenance on the truck and maintenance was neglected, repairs ignored, or repairs made incorrectly and the accident happens because of a maintenance issue, the maintenance party could found liable for the accident.
- Other Parties. Depending on the situation, there are several others who could be bear some fault for the accident. These include:
- Roadway maintenance departments
Consult A Truck Accident Lawyer For Help Obtaining Compensation
Those involved in a truck accident often have very serious injuries that require significant care and rehabilitation. Determining truck accident liability is crucial to securing adequate compensation to help victims pay for their recovery from the accident. The last thing you want to do in this situation is leave the case to chance and hope for the best. That will backfire on you and you are very unlikely to receive all of the compensation you are due.
The best approach is to consult an Eisenberg Law Offices personal injury attorney who is experienced in proving truck accident liability and advancing claims. We can help you determine liability and pursue the maximum amount of compensation for your injuries.
We offer free consultations to accident victims, which can be arranged by calling 608-256-8356 or emailing Info@eisenberglaw.org.
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