Accidents involving large commercial trucks are often more complicated than ordinary car crashes. This is because there may be several liable parties, and it is hard to tell who is answerable at first glance.
Usually, the buck stops with the driver if they were negligent behind the wheel. The truck driver can be held responsible for causing the accident if they were driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, speeding or engaging in other reckless behavior. However, other parties may be to blame, as discussed below.
The trucking company
Suppose a trucking company was negligent in hiring drivers and employed a driver with a history of reckless driving, DUIs or other unsafe driving behaviors. In that case, they may be liable if that driver causes an accident.
Similarly, a trucking company may be liable for failing to maintain its trucks and equipment or if it encouraged its drivers to violate safety regulations such as the hours of service, leading to driver fatigue.
The truck manufacturer
The manufacturer can be held responsible if a defect or design flaw caused the accident. In cases where the manufacturer failed to issue a recall or provide adequate warnings about a known defect, they may be liable for any accident resulting from the defective truck component.
The cargo loading company
Sometimes, improperly secured cargo may lead to a crash. Falling debris or a loss of control caused by a shift in weight are examples of such instances.
Cargo loaders have a duty to properly load and secure cargo according to industry standards and regulations. They can be held responsible if they fail to do so, leading to an accident.
Why liability matters in truck accidents
Determining liability is crucial in truck accidents, as it can impact the compensation you may recover for the harm and losses suffered. For instance, the driver may not have sufficient resources to compensate you fully, and you may have nowhere to turn. It explains the importance of holding all negligent parties accountable.
As a victim of such an accident, it is best to have the necessary legal guidance to help investigate the accident, identify the potentially liable parties and work to seek justice and compensation.