If you are injured in an accident that involves two cars, it is fairly simple to determine which driver was at fault. However, things are not so clear-cut when the accident involves a commercial truck. Why? There are a number of parties besides the driver that can be held liable for truck accidents, which means you will need a personal injury attorney to help you identify the at-fault parties. Here are some of the parties that you may be able to hold liable for your injuries after a truck accident:
Truck drivers can cause accidents if they choose to get behind the wheel while intoxicated or extremely fatigued. Distractions such as cell phones, radios, or food can take the driver’s attention away from the road and also lead to serious accidents. Truck drivers can also be liable if they were driving recklessly at the time of the accident or if they simply made an error, such as underestimating the space they needed to safely make a turn.
The phrase “respondeat superior” plays an important role in identifying the liable parties in a truck accident. This phrase, which translates to mean “let the superior answer,” refers to the employer’s liability for an employee’s actions. The trucking company may be held liable if the negligence of the truck driver caused the accident.
But, that is not the only way that a trucking company can be held liable. Trucking companies must comply with a number of different federal regulations, and if their failure to do so leads to an accident, they will be held liable. For instance, the federal government has limited the number of hours that truck drivers can spend on the road without taking a break. If the company overschedules a driver and does not allow him to take a break, this is a violation of the regulation. In this situation, the trucking company may be liable if the truck driver gets into an accident because he is drowsy.
Defective parts on the truck can also cause accidents, and if this occurs, the parts manufacturer may be held liable. For example, if defective tires suddenly pop and cause the driver to swerve uncontrollably across the road, the manufacturer of these tires could be liable for any injuries sustained in the accident.
Shipper/Loader of the Cargo
Cargo must be carefully loaded onto the back of trucks to ensure that the weight is evenly distributed. If the weight is unevenly distributed, the truck driver may be unable to control the truck. When this happens, the company responsible for shipping or loading the cargo onto the truck may be liable for the accident.
It’s possible that more than one of these parties will be liable in your case. Let us help you determine who is liable so we can start to aggressively pursue the compensation that you deserve. If you have been injured in a truck accident, contact Reisch Law Firm today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.