Who is Responsible in a Commercial Trucking Accident?
Holding the correct party responsible for the damage in an accident is of the utmost importance in order to recover from the incident and acquire all necessary compensation. When an accident has occurred involving a commercial truck, determining who the responsible party is depends on what factors led to the accident.
For instance, If the manufacturer of the truck made the vehicle with a defect that led to the incident, then that manufacturer could be the liable party. Additionally, a manufacturer that created the ropes or pulleys that keep equipment and items secure on the vehicle could be at fault if those systems failed. The agency that hired the trucker may not have performed inspections correctly or perhaps the agency cut corners. The employer or company may hold liability in the accident, and there are third parties that could have some connection to the collision. Finally, the truck driver may possess full responsibility or share it with another party.
The Truck Driver
The driver of a commercial truck may hold liability in an accident in instances where he or she broke the law by being impaired or distracted, or if they have an operational issue within the truck. Other factors may increase the chances of an accident including exceeding the limit on allowed hours driven in a single trip. Often, it is the truck driver who’s held liable for the injury or property damage without any other person or company at fault.
The Trucking Company
The company that hires a trucker is sometimes the responsible party. Proving this is difficult unless a lawyer is able to uncover evidence of neglect on their part. These issues may include an inspection that was incomplete, or if corners were cut around safety inspections, or unrealistic expectations pushed the driver further than he or she should travel as they attempt to meet deadlines resulting in the incident. Investigations after an accident sometimes demonstrate that the trucking company and a manufacturer share liability in an incident due to faulty equipment. An expert witness and a lawyer will go a long way to uncover these factors during an investigation into the company.
The Owner of the Truck
If the trucking company does not own the truck, but leases it and provides the vehicle for the driver’s use, the owner may hold liability in a trucking accident. The owner typically has responsibility for keeping up with safety inspections, upkeep with tires, and general maintenance. Any neglect in following these steps as the laws specify may result in the owner being liable for damages.
Accidents happen and when they do it's important to have an experienced attorney to help determine who's responsible for an accident in order to protect your rights and recover damages for all your losses. Alexander Law Group, PLC can help you determine your best course of action if you've become a victim resulting in injury or loss of property. Contact our office today.