Unfortunately, truck accidents are often very serious events that prompt severe damages and injuries.
However, it is critical to keep in mind that contrary to popular belief, truck drivers don’t actually cause most of the accidents they are involved in.
If truth be told, studies show that the drivers of passenger vehicles alone cause 70% of truck accidents, as opposed to truck drivers causing a mere 16% of the accidents they’re involved in. Similarly, both truck and passenger car drivers contribute to accidents about 10% of the time.
Regardless, there are still several parties that may potentially be held liable for a truck accident, depending on the circumstances of the crash.
Read on to learn more about truck accident liability.
Potentially Liable Parties of a Truck Accident
Depending on how the crash occurs, a number of parties may potentially be held liable for a truck accident, including the:
- Truck driver
- Trucking company
- Owner of the truck
- Cargo loaders
- Parts manufacturers
A truck driver may be held partially or fully liable for a crash if he or she:
- Breaks the law
- Experiences an operational issue within the truck
- Becomes distracted
- Consumes mind-altering substances (such as drugs or alcohol)
- Drives extended hours over a single trip
- Nighttime driving
- Drowsy driving
- Medical conditions
However, it is important to consider that truck drivers do this for a living. They rely on the income they receive from driving to survive. Most truck drivers do everything they can to keep all road users safe, but even then, accidents can still happen.
Trucking companies are often required to take measures that ensure the safety of their drivers and those on the road near them. The following are some reasons why a trucking company may be held responsible for a semi-truck accident:
- Conducting incomplete inspections
- Cutting corners that impact safety
- Having unrealistic expectations of drivers that encourage them to push themselves too far
When trucking companies are responsible for truck crashes, it is typically the result of cutting corners to amplify speed.
Owner of the Truck
Sometimes trucking companies don’t own the trucks within their fleets and instead borrow vehicles from truck owners. If this is the case, the owner of the truck may be held liable for a crash as a result of not doing one of the following:
- Adequately inspecting the vehicle
- Effectively checking the engine
- Maintaining the tires
- Servicing the inner workings of the vehicle
In addition, truck owners are responsible for maintaining the following components of their trucks:
- Vehicular fluids
- Electronic system
There are federal regulations in place that govern the inspection and maintenance of semi-trucks. If a truck owner fails to properly inspect and maintain their fleet according to federal standards and an accident occurs as a result, the owner may be held liable for damages.
Cargo loaders are tasked with exhaustively inspecting and securing the items onto a semi-truck and may be held liable for a crash that occurs as a result of falling cargo.
If a particular component of a semi-truck malfunctions and causes a crash as a result, the manufacturer of the faulty part may be held accountable for damages. It can be possible to hold a manufacturer responsible for losses if the faulty part causes any of the following:
- A tire blowout
- Mechanical failure
- Faulty brakes
We’re Here to Help
If you’ve been injured as a result of a truck accident due to no fault of your own, you may be able to recover compensation for your losses. Don’t delay—contact our team immediately to learn more about what we can do for you.