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Commercial Truck Accidents: Factors that Determine Liability

Consumer goods are transported across locations by commercial trucks over 75 percent of the time. Truck transportation is essential to the economy of American cities and communities.

They provide substantially larger transportation services to businesses and customers than other vehicles on the road. However, trucks create the possibility of several dangers and accidents due to their size.

Accidents involving commercial trucks differ from passenger automobiles, partly because a trucking business typically employs the truck driver involved in the collision. Several other parties apart from the trucking firm could be held legally liable for a truck accident.

This makes determining liability for a truck accident a complex procedure. Read this article to learn more about who is liable for a truck accident.

Factors that Lead to Accidents

In the most recent reporting, more than 160,000 people were hurt in traffic accidents involving heavy trucks. Almost 69 percent of injury victims were people riding in passenger cars.

The most frequent causes of truck accidents include:

  • Inexperience or a lack of training
  • Drivers fatigue
  • Unfamiliarity with the road
  • Poorly maintained trucks
  • Driving while intoxicated or drugged
  • Incorrectly loaded goods

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has various laws and regulations governing truck drivers and heavy trucks to reduce human error.

Determining Liability

In most truck accidents, a detailed investigation is required to ascertain what occurred and why. A thorough examination of the available data may show that one or more parties must be liable for the collision, such as:

Truck Driver

It’s possible that a truck driver’s reckless actions, such as driving too fast, tiredly, or distracted, led to an accident. They also examine the vehicle to ensure the cargo is being loaded or maintained correctly. A truck driver might be held partially accountable for an accident if a mechanical issue or load shift had a role in the collision.

Trucking Company

The trucking business is responsible for the vehicles and drivers it deploys on the highway. This includes taking responsibility for hiring and training procedures, which could be an issue if the company hires drivers with a history of violating driving or FMCSA rules or if corporate records don’t show the right training.

Truck Owner

Some carriers transport goods for other businesses as independent contractors. The contractor oversees all routine maintenance, repairs, and inspections. If a business vehicle is involved in an accident, its owner may be held accountable for their actions.

Third-Party Vendor

Many vendors accept outsourced administrative tasks like hiring drivers, performing background checks and tests, truck maintenance, repair, and dispatching. Any third-party vendor who is negligent and causes a truck accident may be held accountable.

Truck Manufacturer

The failure of the truck or one of its components, such as tire blowouts, can result in truck accidents. This might be a maintenance issue, but if the faulty component was a manufacturing error, the manufacturer and distributor could be held liable in a product liability lawsuit.

Government Agencies

The local or state government in charge of that section of highway may be held liable if a road hazard causes a truck accident. If the maintenance work they performed resulted in an issue, a negligent maintenance contractor engaged by the government may also be held accountable.

Consulting an Attorney

Due to federal laws placed on the trucking business, insurance companies, and challenges with the judicial system, establishing and proving liability is quite difficult. A lawyer would be aware of the proof required to support your claim. Your truck accident attorney will also know the legal standards you must satisfy to pursue compensation for your injuries. They’ll be familiar with how to evaluate your claim and respond to standard insurance company strategies.

Final Thoughts

Truck rollovers make up about 2 percent of all commercial truck accidents and 4 percent of all fatal trucking accidents. Commercial truck accidents result in more than 5,000 fatalities and tens of thousands of injuries each year. You must seek the advice of experienced lawyers if you or a loved one has sustained serious injuries in a truck accident.

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