Commercial truck accidents can cause more injuries and damage than those involving regular passenger vehicles. However, these aren’t the only differences between the two.
Getting injured in a commercial truck accident is also often more frustrating, especially if you want to file a claim and obtain compensation for economic and non-economic losses.
Aside from your emotional, financial, and physical needs, you also need to focus on how to win your claim and hold the offending party accountable for what happened to you. You can do this by determining who is at fault for the accident.
Unfortunately, large truck accident cases will give you a hard time on this. That’s because big-time firms often get lots of backing from a cultivated team of legal experts who do their best to reduce their client’s culpability by any means necessary.
If you’re filing a case like this anytime soon, here are some steps you should take to establish who is liable in a commercial truck accident.
The commercial truck driver is usually the first option. They’re more likely to be at fault if they’re found to be negligent in the time leading to the accident.
Liability may be pinned on a driver who commits the following:
- Violating traffic rules and regulations
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Driving while fatigued
- Distracted driving and speeding
- Poor driving judgment
- Driving without reasonable assistance for vision, hearing, and other physical impairments
These are the common reasons why truck drivers can be held liable for a commercial truck accident on the grounds of negligence.
But again, proving that in these cases can be tricky. Hence, if you’re injured after a truck accident at work or wherever you may be, hiring a truck accident lawyer is best. They can evaluate the details of your case and help gather evidence to establish a driver’s or other related party’s culpability.
In addition to the driver, you may also hold the truck company responsible for the commercial truck accident.
In most cases, an experienced lawyer may apply the legal principle called vicarious liability on the part of the truck company. This refers to a legal rule holding a company accountable for the actions committed by its employees.
But to prove the truck company’s vicarious liability, you need to show that they’re negligent in the following ways:
- Lack of vehicle maintenance
- Failure to provide the driver with proper training or reasonable assistance with handling a commercial truck
- Failure to conduct a background check on the truck driver
These should provide reasonable grounds to claim that the company is to blame for the accident. To ensure a more favorable outcome, you and your lawyer must also prove that the driver is an employee, not an independent contractor, and that they performed work-related duties when the collision happened.
Truck Manufacturers And Mechanics
Another party who can be a defendant in a commercial truck accident case is the truck manufacturer. If a defective part in the truck contributed to the collision, you and your lawyer may also file for a settlement with them. Some faulty components that may lead to truck accidents include axles, brakes, transmissions, tires, and steering columns.
On the other hand, a third-party mechanic may also be held responsible for a commercial truck accident if they’re entrusted with truck maintenance. For example, if the mechanic does a faulty job or overlooks a serious issue that causes a collision, they can be named as one of the defendants in your claim.
You may also establish liability on the part of the cargo loaders if the accident involved the cargo. If the vehicle is overloaded, maneuvering it would be much more challenging, especially in traffic.
The cargo loader may be held partially liable when it results in a collision. But to establish their liability, you must prove that the loader committed careless acts, such as cargo overloading and failure to inspect and secure the goods before the drive.
Parties Responsible For Roadway Maintenance
Generally, country, state, and federal government agencies oversee roadway maintenance. Thus, if they fail to take care of the road (in turn, causing a commercial truck accident), the injured party may have a cause of action to sue the government for damages.
However, naming certain government entities as defendants isn’t easy. Strict requirements and deadlines must be complied with before filing a commercial truck accident lawsuit. To help you with the process, you can consult a lawyer for valuable legal advice and direction.
You Always Have Options
Depending on who you’re going up against, establishing liability in a commercial truck accident case can be difficult. Still, if you’ve been injured in a truck collision, remember the information above to know who may be liable for your losses. This way, you have grounds to prove their negligence and, in turn, achieve a desirable outcome for your case.