5 Parties That Can Be Liable in a Truck Accident CaseJuly 3, 2017
After a truck accident, figuring out what caused the wreck is essential to determining which party (or parties) may be liable for compensating the victims. In some cases, the liable party may be someone directly involved in crash. In others accidents, a party not actually at the scene can also be liable.
Determining all parties that played a role in causing a truck accident is pivotal to helping victims seek the full amount of compensation they deserve.
The lawyers at the Amaro Law Firm are skilled at identifying all parties who are responsible and liable for truck accidents. As diligent, dedicated advocates for the injured, we are ready to:
- Review the facts of your crash
- Point out all liable parties
- Help you hold them accountable via a truck accident claim.
With us on your side, you can be confident that your truck wreck claim is positioned for success.
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We are fully aware that money won’t rewrite the past or makeup for permanent injuries or losses. We are also sure, however, that pursuing justice and financial recovery can be central to providing you with the financial support necessary to focus on healing and restoring your life.
When Truck Drivers Can Be Liable for Truck Wrecks
Truck drivers are commonly liable for causing crashes. Some examples of trucker negligence that can be the basis for liability include:
- Driving while impaired – Impairment can be caused by use of alcohol, illicit drugs, prescription drugs and/or over-the-counter medication. Here, it’s crucial to point that the legal limit for commercial truck drivers is 0.04 (half of the legal limit for noncommercial motorists). When truckers’ alcohol and/or drug impairment causes wrecks, these negligent truckers will be liable for compensating the victim(s).
- Driving while fatigued – Fatigued driving can cause similar perception and judgment impairments as drunk or drugged driving. It can also result in delayed response times. Commonly, fatigued driving stems from violations of hours-of-service (HOS) regulations. In these situations, fatigued truckers will be at fault for the crashes they cause.
- Distracted driving – Anything from cellphone use to eating while driving can distract truckers from the task of driving. Similar to driving while fatigued, distracted driving can be as dangerous and impairing as drunk driving, resulting in problems with perception and response times. Distracted truckers who cause wrecks will also be liable for compensating the victim(s).
- Failing to inspect or maintain the truck – Truckers are legally required to inspect their vehicles before hitting the road and at various points during a haul. They are also required to fix broken or worn down equipment and document every inspection and/or repair performed. Failing to follow through with any of these requirements can open truckers up to liability if or when equipment failures cause wrecks.
- Speeding or otherwise failing to comply with traffic laws – Like any other motorist on the road, truckers must abide by general traffic laws, like following speed limits, stopping at red lights and yielding the right-of-way. When noncompliance with traffic laws results in truck wrecks, truckers will generally be considered at fault (and liable) for the resulting crashes.
When Trucking Companies Can Be Liable for Truck Wrecks
Also referred to as motor carriers, trucking companies can be liable for truck wrecks when their oversights or negligence contributes to crashes. Some examples of motor carrier negligence that can serve as the basis of liability in truck accident claims include:
- Hiring inexperienced or unfit drivers – Trucking companies are legally required to check the experience and fitness of drivers during the hiring process. Failure to check a trucker’s driving record, credentials and experience is a form of negligence that can open motor carriers up to liability when unfit truckers cause wrecks.
- Failing to maintain trucks – Like their drivers, trucking companies are also obligated to inspect and maintain trucks before putting them on the road. These companies are also required to maintain inspection and maintenance records for their trucks. Motor carriers can be liable for any truck crashes stemming from failures to inspect and/or repair the trucks in their fleet.
- Failing to comply with trucking regulations – Violating any state or federal trucking regulation1 can, again, subject motor carriers to liability for wrecks. Some examples of these violations can include:
- Overloading trucks (i.e., violating weight limit regulations)
- Failing to properly secure cargo (i.e., violating cargo securement regulations)
- Incentivizing drivers to violate trucking regulations (i.e., failing to ensure that truckers are in full compliance with all applicable truck regulations).
Other Parties that May Be Liable for Truck Crashes
In addition to truckers and motor carriers, other parties that can contribute to (and be liable for) truck wrecks may include:
- Equipment manufacturers when defective, dangerous or faulty equipment contributes to crashes
- Trucking brokers and/or shippers when they have a principal-agent relationship with truckers and, therefore, they are vicariously liable for truckers’ negligence that causes wrecks
- Other motorists when their actions (or inactions) cause truck accidents.
Of course, these are not the only parties that may be liable for a truck wreck. To discover who is liable for your truck accident, contact the Amaro Law Firm for a free consultation.
Get Answers about Your Rights & Recovery Options: Contact a Truck Accident Lawyer at the Amaro Law Firm
After a truck crash, the road to financial recovery and justice starts by contacting a truck accident lawyer at the Amaro Law Firm. Call (713) 352-7975 or email our firm to set up a free consultation and get helpful information regarding your potential truck wreck claim. Virtual consultations are available if you are unable to visit our office. We can also meet you at your location if helpful or more convenient.
Relentless and resourceful, our attorneys can help you protect your rights while positioning your truck accident claim for success.
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1: More information about federal trucking regulations from the FMCSA