Who Is Liable In A Truck Accident Lawsuit?
Accidents involving Semi-Trucks/Tractor-Trailers are often the most dangerous and lead to a higher number of fatalities than other types of accidents.
The main reasons that these accidents often cause such serious damage is because of the High speeds at which the involved vehicles are usually traveling, and the large size and weight of Semi-Trucks.
Besides being one of the worst
One of the main reasons that accidents involving large trucks are so complicated is that they can create difficulties when it comes to determining liability.
Each Big-Rig that is on the road can have multiple parties that are responsible for it, and determining which of these parties is responsible for an accident takes some serious investigating
Truck accident attorneys, also called Personal Injury Attorneys, know the intricacies of these types of accidents and know how to determine liability, as well as can get victims a fair financial settlement.
For an attorney to determine liability in a Truck Accident case, they will look at the details of the accident to find out what caused it.
In a typical Truck Accident case, there are multiple parties that can be held responsible, including:
- The Truck Driver
- The Trucking Company
- The Truck Owner
- The Big-Rig Manufacturer or Parts Manufacturer
- The Semi-Truck Maintenance Provider
- The Company whose Materials are Being Shipped
The details of each truck accident case vary, and determining the cause of the accident is the first step in assigning liability.
The Truck Driver
There are many questions that must be answered to determine whether or not the Truck Driver is the Liable party in a Truck Accident.
- Was the Driver an employee of a company or an Independent Contractor?
- If they are an employee, were they acting within the scope of their job duties?
- Was the Driver under the influence of anything at the time of the accident?
- Was the Accident caused by an intentional act committed by the Truck Driver?
Depending on the answers to the above questions, the driver of the Tractor-Trailer may be the Liable party in a Tractor-Trailer accident case, and thus responsible for compensating victims for their injuries.
The Trucking Company
In a lot of Semi-Truck crash lawsuits, the trucking company is found to be liable for the accident. To determine if the Trucking company is liable, some of the questions that must be answered include:
- Was the Truck Driver an employee of the Trucking Company?
- Was the Driver acting within their Job Duties?
- Was the Driver in violation of any Trucking Rules and Regulations?
- Were the acts that caused the accident Intentional or Accidental?
- Does the Trucking Company own the Truck?
If the Truck driver was an employee, acting within their job duties, and did not intentionally cause the accident, there is a good chance that the Trucking Company can be held liable for the accident.
The Big-Rig or Parts Manufacturer
Another party that can be held responsible for a traffic accident involving a Semi-Truck is the manufacturer of said truck.
Liability could be placed on the Truck Manufacturer if the wreck was caused by a failure of the vehicle that was not the driver or trucking company's fault.
For example, you may notice that many times vehicles are recalled due to manufacturing mistakes that are a safety hazard. This same scenario can happen with big-rig trucks, and if a manufacturing error is responsible for the accident, the company who produced the truck can be responsible for compensation.
If a specific part on the vehicle is the reason for the accident, the parts manufacturer rather than the Truck manufacturer can be held responsible.
An example of this scenario would be if the tires on the truck or brake pads that were not made by the manufacturer of the truck were to fail and as a result, an accident occurred.
The Semi-Truck Maintenance Provider
For Semi-Trucks to be considered safe for roadways, they must have regular maintenance and inspections performed on a regular basis.
In some cases, the maintenance provider can make a mistake or fail to do their duties. If a lack of proper maintenance or a mistake is made by the maintenance provider, they can be held liable for the accident.
The Company whose Materials are being Shipped
Another party that could be held liable for damages and compensation in a Big-Rig/Tractor-Trailer accident is the company whose materials are being shipped in the truck.
Sometimes, an accident can be caused because the company providing the materials makes a mistake or is untruthful about what is being shipped.
Some of the mistakes that can lead to an accident and result in the company whose materials are being shipped include:
- Improper Packaging
- Improper Weight Distribution
- Improper Labeling
- Improper Loading of Materials
- Not Disclosing Dangerous Chemicals or Materials
Depending on the details of your accident, there are many parties that could be held liable, and thus responsible for providing financial compensation.
Because of how complex liability determinations in Truck accidents can be, it is always recommended that victims speak to a Personal Injury Attorney.
If you have been involved in a Semi-Truck Accident and would like to speak with an experienced Truck Accident Injury Attorney, click on the link below and receive a Free Case Evaluation.