When an accident occurs involving passenger cars, liability is usually assigned to one driver or the other—or sometimes fault is shared between the two. Whatever the case, it’s usually a fairly straight-forward process. However, when a commercial tractor-trailer is involved in a crash, it can be much harder to determine liability as multiple parties may have contributed to the cause of the crash. With an experienced truck accident attorney on your side, however, you can rest assured that all responsible parties will be held accountable.
What Are the Possible Liable Parties in a Truck Crash?
Because a truck driver is usually on the job when an accident occurs, he is not the only one responsible when something goes wrong with the truck or its cargo. Any or all of the following parties may be responsible when a truck crash occurs:
- The driver. If a truck driver is impaired by drugs or alcohol or is using a mobile device at the time of the crash, he likely bears sole responsibility for the crash. However, if he fell asleep at the wheel or lost control due to equipment failure, it is possible that he shares responsibility for the crash with another party.
- The driver’s employer. To drive a truck professionally, a driver must obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL) and meet certain health standards. If a trucking company knowingly hires a driver who does not have a CDL or who has failed mandatory health exams, the company may be partially liable for any mistakes the driver makes that lead to an accident. Also, if an employer forces a driver to exceed hours-of-service limits to meet a deadline, the employer could share the blame for a fatigued-driving crash.
- The owner of the truck. Most commercial truck drivers do not own the trucks they drive. In most cases, their employer or a shipper owns the truck and is therefore responsible for the condition of the truck and its components. If faulty brakes are determined to be the cause of the crash, the owner may be the liable party. However, drivers are expected to inspect truck components on a regular basis, and if they fail to report mechanical problems to the owner, they may also be held responsible.
- The manufacturer. If brake failure, a tire blowout, trailer coupling failure, or any other mechanical failure leads to a crash, the manufacturer of that part could be held liable for the crash. If a driver or trucking company failed to spot the failure through routine inspections, they could also share the blame.
- The shipper or loader of the cargo. Truck crashes can be caused by shifting cargo or loads falling off the back of a truck. When a third party is responsible for loading the cargo, that party may be wholly or partially to blame.
It will take an experienced truck accident attorney to investigate all possible liable parties to determine who should be required to pay compensation to the injured victim.
The Button Law Firm Will Fight for Maximum Compensation
When you bring your Dallas, Midland or Houston truck crash claim to the Button Law Firm, you can be confident that all avenues of compensation will be investigated so that you get the full recovery you deserve. We take pride in holding negligent parties responsible to prevent them from continuing to put people at risk. Connect with us through the link on this page to get started today.