Trucking companies are responsible for ensuring that their drivers and vehicles meet certain safety standards.
However, accidents involving trucks can still happen due to a variety of factors. In this article, we will explore the potential causes of truck accidents and whether or not the trucking company may be held liable.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Truck accidents can occur for a number of reasons, including driver fatigue, improper vehicle maintenance, and reckless driving.
One of the leading causes of truck accidents is driver fatigue. Truck drivers often have to drive long distances and work long hours, which can lead to exhaustion.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has regulations in place to help prevent driver fatigue, such as limiting the number of hours a driver can work in a day. However, these regulations are not always followed, and some drivers may falsify their logbooks to avoid being held accountable.
Improper Vehicle Maintenance
Another common cause of truck accidents is improper vehicle maintenance. The trucking company is responsible for ensuring that its vehicles are in good working condition, including regular inspections and maintenance.
Some companies may cut corners to save money, leading to issues such as worn brakes or malfunctioning lights. These issues can greatly increase the risk of an accident occurring.
Reckless driving is another common cause of truck accidents. This can include speeding, tailgating, and changing lanes without signaling. Reckless driving by a truck driver can put other drivers on the road at great risk.
Liability of the Trucking Company
In the event of a truck accident, the trucking company may be held liable for the damages caused. This can include both property damages and personal injuries. Determining liability can be complex, though, as multiple parties may be at fault.
The trucking company can be held liable if they were negligent in their responsibilities. This can include failing to properly maintain the vehicle, failing to properly train the driver, or allowing a driver to work while fatigued.
The trucking company can also be held liable for the actions of its drivers under the legal principle of vicarious liability. This means that even if the driver was solely at fault for the accident, the company may still be held liable for any damages caused.
Proving liability in a truck accident case can be challenging. It is important to gather as much evidence as possible, including witness statements, police reports, and any available surveillance footage. An experienced attorney can help you navigate the legal process and build a strong case for liability.
It is also important to note that trucking companies often have their own legal team to defend against liability claims. It is crucial to have legal representation that can match the level of representation of the trucking company.
Steps to Take After a Truck Accident
If you are involved in a truck accident, it is important to take the following steps to protect yourself and your legal rights:
- Seek medical attention: Even if you feel fine, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Some injuries, such as whiplash, may not show symptoms until days or even weeks later.
- Gather evidence: Take pictures of the scene of the accident, including the damage to your vehicle and the truck, and gather contact information of any witnesses.
- Report the accident: Report the accident to the police and the trucking company.
- Contact an attorney: An attorney can help you navigate the legal process and determine your rights and options.
- Keep records: Keep records of any expenses related to the accident, such as medical bills, lost wages, and car repairs.
Getting Compensated After a Commercial Truck Accident
Being injured by a large commercial vehicle can have devastating consequences, and it is important to understand the potential causes and who may be held liable.
Trucking companies have a responsibility to ensure the safety of their drivers and vehicles, and if they fail to do so, they may be held liable for any damages caused in an accident.
If you have been involved in a truck accident, it is important to seek legal advice to determine your rights and options. You can increase your chances of receiving fair compensation for any damages incurred by taking the appropriate steps.