Truck Accident Lawyer
When two cars are in an accident, there is usually one driver who is at fault because they behaved in a negligent or reckless manner. The other driver can pursue a claim against that driver for financial compensation for any injuries and property damage they may have suffered in the crash.
Although there is still that same theory of negligence in a truck accident, unlike a car accident, there is often more than one liable party that a victim can pursue damages against. Depending on the circumstances of the crash, the following are potential liable parties:
The Truck Driver
The truck driver is often liable for the crash due to negligent or reckless behavior. Some of the most common includes:
· Distracted driving
· Driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs
· Fatigued driving
· Traffic law violations
· Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration violations
The Trucking Company
The truck company that employs the truck driver is usually liable for the actions of their employee. This is the legal principle of vicarious liability, which means that when an employee is negligent, this negligence is passed to their employer. Reasons why a truck company may be liable include:
· Company failed to conduct a background check on the truck driver’s driving record
· Company failed to properly train the truck driver on how to properly handle these massive vehicles
· Company failed to monitor the actions of the truck driver
· Company failed to conduct routine drug testing of their truck drivers
· Company required the truck driver to work more hours than are allowed under federal regulations
· Company failed to perform regular safety inspections and maintain the vehicle
Typically, it is a third-party cargo company that loads the goods that the truck driver is transporting. If the cargo is improperly loaded, this can result in goods falling off the truck and hitting other vehicles, the load shifting causing the truck to tip over, or overloading the truck causing the truck driver to lose control of the truck and causing a crash.
If the trucking company uses a third-party company to maintain and repair their fleet and that company fails to repair a mechanical issue that causes the truck to crash, the maintenance company can be held liable for any losses that injured victims suffer.
Some truck accidents are caused by a defective truck part. There could be a flaw in the design, or the defect could have occurred during manufacturing of the part. If this is what caused the crash, then the victim can pursue damages against the manufacturer. Some of the more common truck defects include:
· Steering column