A commercial truck accident can be extremely complex. Unlike a car accident, a truck accident falls under more rules and regulations, requires a more thorough collection of evidence and has more parties that can be held liable. If you are injured in a truck wreck and want to file a personal injury claim, it may not be as easy as blaming the driver. Instead, your claim may need to be directed at several parties, all of whom may be liable for your accident.
Who exactly may be at fault for your truck accident…and why?
Who Can Be Held Liable?
A truck accident may not only involve the driver, but also the owner of the truck/trailer, the manufacturer of the vehicle or the loader of the truck’s cargo.
For this reason, liability can fall on any number of parties:
- The driver. A driver may cause an accident due to impaired driving, speeding, tailgating, distracted driving, failing to adhere to local traffic laws or allowing the trailer to be improperly loaded. If so, you may be able to make a claim directly against the driver. Fault also depends on if the driver is an employee or an independent contractor.
- The owner of the truck/trailer. If the owner of the truck and/or trailer acts negligently, they may be held responsible. This can occur if the trucking company fails to inspect and maintain their vehicle or if they pressure their drivers to ignore federal rules and regulations.
- The person who leased the truck/trailer. In the same way that the owner of the truck and/or trailer may be accountable, the person or company who leased it can also be held responsible for negligence.
- The third-party maintenance and repair company. If the trucking company hires a third party to inspect their fleet of trucks, they may be at fault.
- The manufacturer of the truck, trailer, tires or other parts that may have contributed to the accident. A poorly designed tire that explodes in the middle of a highway or a defective axle can cause a truck accident. If so, the manufacturer may be at fault.
- The shipper or loader of the cargo. Improperly loaded and overloaded cargo can make it harder to control a truck, causing it to jackknife or flip over. If the shipper/loader of the truck’s cargo is a third-party, they may be responsible.
- The government. If a poorly designed or maintained road is the reason for the accident, it may be possible to file a claim against the liable government agency.
Determining Liability in a Truck Accident
After a truck accident, it is important to gather as much evidence as possible to build a clear case as to who is at fault. In addition to driver’s license and insurance information, you should also collect driver inspection records, hours of service, GPS tracking, downloads of the onboard systems, truck weight and cargo information.
Our experienced Dallas truck accident attorneys can help you learn more about what evidence is necessary to prove liability. If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck wreck, enlist the legal guidance of Deans & Lyons, LLP immediately. We have the experience and resources to hold negligible parties accountable for their reckless actions.Call (844) 297-8898 or contact us online to speak with an attorney.