Truck Accident Liability: Who Can Be at Fault?
Car accidents are, unfortunately, not all that uncommon. With about 31 million injuries occurring that require medical attention every year, car accidents are certainly a common cause of injury. But unlike car accidents, large truck accidents more often than not result in severe damage -- from immense property damage to significant injuries, truck accidents can be brutal. And proving fault for a truck accident can be quite difficult, with multiple parties possibly being responsible. So let's take a look at just a few of the parties that could be held liable in a truck accident case.
The Truck Driver
The first person people may think to be at fault for a truck accident would be the driver. And this can certainly be the case -- distracted driving, driving while tired, and simple driver error could all result in an accident. After an accident, the police may look into how long the driver has been on the road to see if they've driven past the legal number of hours. Additionally, it's important to consider whether or not the driver is an employee of a trucking company or an independent contractor, which could determine if the company is liable, too.
If equipment failure was the cause of an accident, then the truck manufacturing company may be found liable. When trucks are put on the road, they are expected to be in perfect working condition. But if a part is defective or was installed incorrectly, this could result in an accident. And if this is the case, it's not necessarily just the driver's fault and the actual manufacturer -- or even the company responsible for inspections -- could be found guilty.
The Cargo Company
Most large trucks carry a large amount of cargo. If something were to happen while the truck was on the road, like the cargo caused the truck to tip over or if it simply became loose in the truck, the cargo company may be to blame for an accident. This can be more difficult to prove because the trucking company is responsible for transporting the cargo safely. However, that doesn't mean the cargo company is completely off the hook.
As you can see there are multiple parties who can be at fault for a trucking accident. This is why it's important to work with a knowledgeable and experienced attorney to ensure fault is proven accurately and efficiently in these complex cases.