In the event of a car accident, the negligent party is often one of the drivers involved. On the other hand, truck accidents often involve multiple parties. Each one has its own specific obligations to ensure the commercial truck is safe and the delivery or service will be fulfilled.
The following are the potentially responsible parties in a trucking accident:
- Truck driver – The most obvious party is the driver of the truck. Common examples of fault include violating a traffic law, distracted driving, impaired driving, fatigued driving, and failing to inspect the truck for any malfunctioning components before embarking on a trip.
- Trucking company – Carriers are responsible for the actions of their drivers and the vehicles that share the road with other motorists. Companies are liable for truck accidents if they hire unqualified drivers to provide their service, fail to adequately train their drivers, and even encourage their drivers to violate FMCSA regulations. Many of them take shortcuts to protect their bottom line.
- Truck owner – Some trucking companies do not own the vehicles driven by their truckers. The owner of the truck is responsible for inspecting the vehicle and properly maintaining all components. If a truck owner fails to adequately inspect and maintain all vehicles, it could be held responsible for an accident caused by one of them.
- Cargo loaders – The company which loads a commercial truck with its cargo must make sure the contents are safe and secured for each trip. If the cargo was unsecured or loose prior to the accident or the truck fell over due to improper distribution of the cargo’s weight, then the cargo loader is liable in the event of a crash.
- Parts manufacturers – If the accident was caused by a defective vehicle part, the part manufacturer can be held responsible for the damages. Common mechanical issues include tire blowouts, brake failure, steering system malfunction, transmission failure, defective trailer hitch, and defective lighting.
However, these parties are quick to deny any form of liability and are backed by powerful legal teams to protect their best interests. It is imperative to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer to help you recover the financial compensation you deserve.