When you are seriously injured in an accident with a commercial truck, the issue of who is at fault can be more complex than in a typical auto accident. There are multiple parties involved, including the driver of the truck, the owner, the manufacturer, and the company for which the driver worked.
Federal laws and regulations govern much of the trucking industry and establish standards that these trucking companies, owners, and the driver must meet. These laws and regulations can help to determine who is responsible in an accident.
Trucking Companies May Attempt to Avoid Liability
One of the most important parties in an accident may be the trucking company for which the driver worked. Trucking companies may sometimes attempt to avoid liability by labeling the drivers that work for them as independent contractors and not employees. They also may attempt to avoid liability by not owning, but leasing, the truck from the owner/operator. The trucking company may then claim that it is not responsible for an accident because the driver is not their employee and it does not own the truck that was involved. Federal laws and regulations have now put an end to these arguments. Now a company that owns a trucking permit can be held responsible for accidents involving any truck that has its placard or its name displayed somewhere on the vehicle.
Examples Where a Trucking Company May be Liable
While there are some clear situations where a driver is at fault for an accident, it is not always as clear when a trucking company may be responsible, at least in part. Common scenarios that arise include:
- Trucking company put pressure on the driver to drive over the allowable hours without the required amount of rest.
- Trucking company failed to provide the driver with proper training.
- Driver of the truck did not have the proper licensing or did not have a clean driving record.
- Trucking company was negligent in enforcing rules regarding safety.
- Trucking company did not ensure that the vehicle was properly maintained.
Any of the above situations can lead to a trucking company being found liable an accident.
Proving the Liability of a Trucking Company
Because determining liability in a truck accident can be complicated, it often becomes necessary to hire certain professionals to help put together the case. A professional accident reconstructionist or an accident investigator can assist in putting the pieces of the accident together. An experienced personal injury attorney will make sure that you have the right people working on your claim. In addition, information such as trucking logs, drug screening records, maintenance reports, eyewitness reports, and recordings from any truck cameras or black boxes can help provide useful evidence of what happened and who is at fault.
Contact a Trusted Attorney
If you’ve been seriously injured in a truck accident, you should have an experienced attorney evaluate your case. Contact the trusted lawyers at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk online or call us at 1-800-753-5203 to schedule your free consultation.