Vehicle Accidents -

Are Truck Drivers Responsible for Damages?

Truck accidents are among the most complex types of personal injury cases because they tend to involve serious injuries and multiple at-fault parties. If you or a loved one were hurt in a truck accident, it may come down to truck driver liability vs trucking company liability. Both parties will engage in finger-pointing to avoid responsibility for damages.

T. Madden & Associates, P.C. is a law firm that specializes in representing the victims of truck accidents. In this blog post, we explain the legal responsibilities of these parties and provide key insights for helping you navigate your truck accident claim. 

Determining Truck Driver Liability: When Are Truck Drivers Responsible?

Truck driver liability is often the first consideration, especially since the driver was in control of the vehicle at the time. However, this works differently than if you were in an accident with another passenger vehicle. Truckers are often employees of a trucking company, which usually means that trucking company liability will come into play.

If the truck driver is an independent contractor, they may bear the full responsibility for damages in truck accidents. The only other scenario where a trucker may be solely liable is if they acted with deliberate intent, such as in a road rage incident.

Most of the time, truck accidents are caused by driver error. Even if the trucker makes a miscalculation in stopping distance or is speeding on a rainy road, it is likely that you can also hold their employer responsible for your damages.

Responsibility for Damages in Truck Accidents: Understanding Trucking Company Liability

The driver of the truck may be at fault for certain actions, though trucking company liability can be proven when conducting a deeper investigation into the event. It may become apparent that the trucking company was cutting corners to maximize profits. This could mean disregarding the hours of service set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), failing to complete inspections or maintenance, lack of proper training, or improper hiring protocols.

Truck drivers are often tasked with tight deadlines for moving shipments. In our metropolitan hub, it is quite common to see trucks coming and going, and many of them are under pressure to get the job done on schedule. Additionally, since the demand for goods has increased, the demand for truckers has as well, which means some trucking companies may look the other way when it comes to training just to get someone behind the steering wheel.

It’s important to know that trucking company liability is often a factor in truck accidents because the trucking company is responsible for their truck drivers’ actions while they are performing the scope of their job duties. Even if the trucker is found to be negligent, trucking company liability could be a factor in a truck accident case.

Photo of a red truck

Other Parties May Bear Responsibility for Damages in Truck Accidents 

There may be other parties who are responsible for your truck accident beyond the truck driver or trucking company. In fact, there are certain cases where neither truck driver liability nor trucking company liability are a part of the lawsuit.

Cargo loaders are responsible for ensuring goods are properly loaded, secured, and inspected before a truck driver leaves the premises. If the truck is owned by another party, that party may also be involved in your truck accident case. They must maintain their vehicles, and if it is found that maintenance on brakes, tires, or other vital equipment were ignored, they will be liable. 

Additionally, the truck manufacturer or parts manufacturer may be to blame if defective parts caused the crash. Since truck accident cases have as many working parts as the trucks themselves, it is imperative that you speak with truck accident claim attorneys to find out more about your legal options.

Proving Fault in Truck Accident Cases: How to Show Who Is Responsible for Your Damages

Proving responsibility for damages in truck accidents is something that most people can’t do on their own. You likely have serious injuries and that means you need to rest and follow doctors’ orders to have the best chance at recovery.

Truck accidents are much more complicated than filing a car accident claim. There are usually multiple at-fault parties, plus you need to work with the trucking insurance company, which is a huge challenge. Trucking insurance involves much larger policies, and the insurance agents will be far more aggressive when representing their policyholders. This means they will try to offer the lowest settlement possible or find some way to blame you for the accident to deny your claim.

T. Madden & Associates, P.C. knows all about these tactics and is ready to counteract them. Contact us to discuss your truck accident case and get someone to stand up for you during the legal process.

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