Who Can be Held Liable for a Truck Accident?
It is often difficult to assign liability for a truck accident because the driver is not the only one who could be at fault. There are other parties besides the driver who could have some amount of responsibility for what happened.
If you were injured in a truck crash, there are many benefits to hiring a reputable truck accident lawyer in Savannah. He or she will know how to investigate the crash to determine who is liable. This will help him or her in pursuing all the compensation you deserve.
The Truck’s Driver
Drivers are responsible for their 18-wheelers whether loaded or empty. They are often overworked and tired because they drive thousands of miles each week to meet deadlines, which means they have little time to rest. Drivers are under so much pressure that they are more likely to violate hours of service regulations, which put limits on the number of hours they are allowed to drive each week.
Fatigued drivers are much more likely to make mistakes or engage in dangerous behaviors that increase the risk of accidents, including:
- Ignoring traffic signals
- Abusing drugs to help them stay awake
- Distracted driving
- Failing to address medical problems that could affect their ability to drive safely
The Trucking Company
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) makes it the responsibility of trucking companies to hire qualified drivers and train them according to state and federal regulations. There are also drug and alcohol testing requirements and hours of service regulations. Trucking companies could potentially be held responsible for accidents caused by driver inexperience, lack of proper qualifications, drug use, or violations of hours of service regulations.
Poorly maintained trucks, irregular drug and alcohol testing, and pushing drivers to work long hours are costly mistakes carriers should avoid, but often do not. Hiring drivers with poor driving histories is another neglectful action that trucking companies could be responsible for if an accident occurs.
Cargo and Loading Company
Trucking companies may decide to outsource truck loading to cargo and loading companies. These third parties are responsible for securely loading the trucks and verifying the cargo against the manifest provided by the supplier.
While this sounds simple, employees of the loading company can neglect their duty to load trailers properly, creating an imbalanced trailer. This increases the risk of a roll-over accident, which occurs when the cab and trailer tip over. If the accident was caused by an improperly-loaded trailer, the cargo company might be held accountable for injuries sustained by people in other vehicles.
Vehicle and Part Manufacturers
Defective parts often find their way into the manufacturing process at truck assembly plants. This could include tires, brake systems and transmissions. These parts could cause problems when trucks are on the road, particularly at high speed. This could cause drivers to lose control of their vehicles, putting everyone else on the road at risk of an accident.
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Truck driver negligence is one of the main reasons for trucking accidents. However, trucking companies, outsourced loaders, and parts manufacturers could also be at fault.
If you have been involved in a truck accident, another party could be at fault and they should be held accountable. One of the steps you should consider after an accident is contact a lawyer. Our truck accident lawyers can help you pursue the justice and compensation you deserve.
Contact our firm today for a free, no obligation legal consultation. You will not be charged legal fees unless you receive compensation.