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Who is Liable In a Truck Accident?

who is liable in a truck accident

Truck accidents differ significantly from auto crashes in several ways, and that includes the liable party. In crashes involving passenger cars, it’s easy to hold the driver responsible since there’s a high chance that he’s the owner of the vehicle. However, a truck driver isn’t always the owner of the truck. He works under a company that is partly liable for road offenses committed by commercial truck drivers under its watch. Trucking accidents are usually complex, involving at-fault parties beyond the truck driver and the trucking company.

Other parties that may be held liable after a truck accident include:

  • The truck’s manufacturer
  • The trucking company
  • The company responsible for the truck’s maintenance
  • Local council authorities or road maintenance contractors
  • The loading company
  • The truck’s owner

If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck accident, knowing who is at fault or the multiple parties you are up against is an important first step in obtaining the necessary compensation. After a thorough investigation, a lawyer for a truck accident can help figure out who will be held responsible in the case and file a truck accident claim.

Dervishi Law’s truck accident lawyers are more than qualified for the job, with years of experience handling any truck accident case you bring. Entrust your case to the right hands at Dervishi Law to increase your chances of receiving all necessary compensation from at-fault parties and recouping all of your losses in the aftermath of this unfortunate situation.

Liable Parties in a Commercial Truck Accident

Although commercial truck crashes are uncommon in most states, they are usually catastrophic in terms of the amount of damage they cause to other vehicles as well as the number of parties involved. In most cases, thorough investigations will reveal who is to blame.

Below are parties that can be held responsible in the aftermath of a truck accident.

Truck Driver

If investigations reveal that a trucker was truly negligent in his responsibilities as a truck driver, he is primarily responsible for a truck accident. A truck driver may be charged with:

  • Over-speeding
  • Drinking while driving or texting
  • Driving under the influence of drugs
  • Falling asleep while driving
  • Distracted while driving
  • Generally reckless on wheels
  • Stressed out by working beyond approved hours of service

Any of these misdemeanors, or any combination of them, can result in a truck accident. In the aftermath of such accidents, lives may be lost, and properties worth a fortune may be destroyed. If the case goes to trial, truck drivers may face criminal charges and possible convictions. If the truck driver also fails to ensure that the truck is in good working order before hitting the road, he may be held partially responsible for the accident.

Trucking Company

In most truck accident cases, it’s difficult for the trucking company to exonerate itself because the first legal step after a truck accident is to investigate whether the truck driver operates under a company or is an independent contractor. If the investigation reveals that the truck driver is employed by a company, that company will be legally responsible for the accident, although not fully if the truck driver was negligent.

As a result, if they fail to fulfill the aforementioned responsibilities, they are held liable for any actions taken by their truckers on the road, including those that result in terrible truck accidents. Some companies are also fond of cutting maintenance costs in order to enrich themselves at the expense of commercial trucks and drivers. Investigations will expose these professional blunders and lead to the company’s indictment.

Truck Manufacturer, Parts Maker, or Maintenance Company

Commercial trucks are intricately designed, with numerous moving parts and components. As a result, some truck accidents occur as a result of a flaw in the truck’s manufacturing process or one of the numerous parts failing. Only a thorough investigation can uncover this and hold the manufacturer accountable for the accident.

Aside from the manufacturing company, the manufacturer of the truck’s part may also be held liable if it is discovered that the trucking parts it supplied were substandard and caused the 18-wheeler to mechanically fail while in transit. Truck issues that cause accidents, such as faulty brakes, tire blowouts, and steering problems, are the fault of the truck’s manufacturer or the company that makes the truck’s parts. If the same company manufactures the spare parts, they may be in for double trouble.

A company in charge of truck maintenance may also be held liable if something goes wrong with the truck on the road. The company is responsible for ensuring that the trucker never drives a faulty truck on the road. Failure to carry out this responsibility will result in the company being held liable for the accident.

The Owner of the Truck

In some cases, the trucking company does not own commercial trucks but instead hires them. So, if there is an accident and the trucking company is served with a lawsuit, it can save face by referring to the truck’s owner. Every truck owner is responsible for ensuring that a truck is in good working order before leasing it out. If the owner is aware of the truck’s poor condition and leases it out, this is considered fraud, and the owner will be held fully liable. Truck usage and maintenance are governed by federal laws and regulations. Trucking companies and truck owners must follow these regulations or risk having these laws used against them in court.

The Loading Company

Some trucking companies or truck drivers hire third parties to load and unload cargo on their trucks. If an accident occurs as a result of a cargo shift or other cargo issues, the loading contractor will be held liable. Many issues can arise from improperly loaded cargo or cargo arrangements on a truck. Even if the truck’s driver and the truck company have ensured that everything is in order, the cargo may fall off the truck and cause multiple accidents on the road. The truck driver and the company may be exempt in this case.

There are also federal regulations governing cargo loading that these independent contractors must follow. Failure to do so constitutes negligence. If other parties were involved in the cargo loading, they would be held legally liable for the truck accident and ordered to pay damages. The court will frequently request and examine cargo loading records.

Government Authorities and Road Contractors

Local governments must ensure that highway stretches and major roads are safe for trucks and other vehicular traffic. This includes filling potholes and repairing broken pavement, as well as removing potential road hazards. If a truck accident occurs as a result of poor road conditions or a failure to eliminate road hazards, the local council authority or state government will be held liable. However, if the government of that region had already delegated a road contractor to fix the poor state of the road and the contractor failed to carry out the maintenance, the government may be exempt. Furthermore, the contractor may have completed the road maintenance work but did so with inadequate materials, resulting in an untimely breakdown of the road. As a result, the contractor assumes responsibility for the accident.

When Multiple Parties are Involved in the Truck Accident

After the investigations are completed, a truck accident case may involve more than one party. Victims of truck accidents have the right to seek compensation for their losses by filing multiple claims. As a result, all responsible parties will compensate the victim. However, some parties may enter into last-minute settlements in order to reduce or avoid potentially large compensation payments. These out-of-court settlements can sometimes be so generous that a victim finds them irresistible. If a victim accepts these enticing offers from potential defendants, he may have settled for less than what he would receive if the case went to trial.

Following a thorough investigation, the law will require the most liable parties to pay more in compensation, which can assist a victim in recouping losses. As a result, the second step you should take as a truck accident victim is to contact an experienced truck accident attorney as soon as possible. The first step is to seek appropriate medical attention and obtain a doctor’s report. A truck accident attorney will ensure that you receive the maximum amount of compensation from all parties involved and will fight any attempt to underpay you.

Evidence Collection to Determine Liability After a Truck Accident

Gathering and reviewing evidence in the aftermath of a truck accident can help identify some of the parties responsible for the accident. Because it is an event data recorder, the truck’s black box is a critical source of honest and accurate evidence. The crash site, the trucker’s activity log, police reports, and a thorough examination of the truck by qualified auto engineers can all provide additional evidence. Accident reconstruction specialists may also assist with the analysis of forensic data from the wreck and provide additional information on truck accident liability.

Furthermore, eyewitness accounts are required. They are objective and factual and will come in handy if a trial is unavoidable.

Why You Need a Reputable Truck Accident Attorney

If you are involved in a commercial truck accident, you need the services of experienced truck accident lawyers to assist you in the following ways:

Truck Accidents Differ from Car Accidents

The first and most important reason you will need a truck accident attorney is that a truck accident is not like other passenger vehicle accidents. The injuries are far more severe, as is the devastation they cause.

In contrast to a car accident, where you may only deal with the driver or an insurance company, there may be multiple at-fault parties. When the case goes to trial, you’ll also face aggressive defendants because most trucking companies operate as a group or are mega conglomerates with tenacious legal teams.

The stakes are higher at every turn and differ significantly from car accidents. As a result, a regular attorney’s ability to help you in a truck accident case is limited. On the other hand, an experienced truck accident lawyer is well-versed in trucking laws and regulations, has handled several complex truck accident cases, and has a track record of success in them. You can rely on his expertise to deliver an outstanding argument for your case and ensure a favorable outcome.

The dynamics of truck accident cases necessitate the use of only truck accident lawyers to mount an impressive legal defense, and you cannot afford to lose such a case. You are already a victim, and losing the battle for your compensation will emotionally devastate you.

Determining Liability

A truck accident may involve multiple parties, as previously stated. A skilled truck accident attorney can launch a thorough investigation to determine who was at fault and then take legal action to compensate you. The lawyer will also prevent any attempts by the parties involved to maneuver the case. Most trucking companies will usually involve their legal teams and insurance companies in order to manipulate the case against you and ensure they pay less or even get away with it. Without the assistance of an experienced truck accident attorney, your truck accident claim may result in less compensation than you deserve, or you may be duped into accepting out-of-court settlements by shrewd commercial truck companies.

Getting the Best Compensation

A truck accident lawyer’s job is limited to ensuring maximum compensation for the victim. Regardless of the complexity of your case, the lawyer’s legal experience in handling truck accident cases will ensure you receive the best possible compensation under the law. A good lawyer can also ensure non-monetary compensation benefits. In this case, the liable party or parties will pay for your emotional distress due to the accident. You will also receive full compensation for your loss of an active lifestyle, a decrease in the quality of your life, ongoing trauma, and a variety of other intangible benefits, in addition to medical bills and lost wages.

Withstand the Legal Capacity of Trucking Companies

Regardless of how you look at it, a truck crash is usually severe and massive. You’ll be up against an imposing force, from the 18-wheeler’s ability to crush cars into debris to serious injuries for victims and the trucking company standing by with a legal team. Trucking companies have a complex legal structure, are well-funded, and can exert significant influence in court. If it is discovered that the trucker works for a large corporation, only an experienced truck accident lawyer can compete with the firm’s legal team and an insurance company.

They might suggest an out-of-court settlement to pay less compensation. If you refuse the offer, they will mobilize their legal forces for all-out war. The goal is to manipulate the case against you, and if your truck accident lawyer isn’t a hotshot, you might lose the case and get less money. Trucking accidents can result in serious and permanent injuries, incapacitate you for life, and make you unhappy. You are entitled to the best possible consolation and compensation, which can only be obtained if your lawyer has a track record of success in truck accident cases.

Contact Dervishi Law Today for Aggressive Legal Representation

A truck accident necessitates an aggressive approach within the confines of the law. If you are a victim, you are already counting your losses in the aftermath, and our job is to ensure that these losses are recovered through compensation.

All truck accident victims will find refuge at Dervishi Law. We are dedicated to providing them with experienced and aggressive legal representation against the most difficult defendants, ensuring they receive the highest possible compensation. We have a qualified and experienced legal team on standby. More importantly, they care deeply about their client’s needs and will go above and beyond to make you happy again.

Call us right now at 917-496-8342 for a prompt response from our legal team and a free case review. Our live chat feature is also available for immediate communication. We are available to take your calls 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and you can reach an experienced truck accident attorney at (718) 484-4757 .

About The Author

Fatos Dervishi, Esq.

Fatos Dervishi, Esq.

A personal injury attorney, with offices in the Bronx and Manhattan, Fatos Dervishi has years of experience handling cases in New York. Mr. Dervishi, who grew up in Albania, obtained his law degree in 1989 from the Tirana University School of Law. He then worked as a special agent of the General Investigations Office with an office in Tirana, before being elected Deputy Attorney General by the Albanian Parliament in 1994. He served as Deputy Attorney General of Albania from 1994 to 1998.

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