When you are in an accident involving a commercial truck, the issue of who is fault becomes more complicated than in a typical car accident. There are multiple players involved, including the driver, the owner of the truck, the manufacturer of the truck, and the company for which the driver worked.
Federal laws and regulations govern the trucking industry and establish standards that the trucking companies, owners, and the driver must meet. These laws can help to determine who is responsible for an accident.
Trucking Companies Attempt to Avoid Liability
One of the most important players in an accident is the trucking company for which the driver worked. Trucking companies often attempt to avoid liability by labeling the drivers that work for them as independent contractors and by not owning, but leasing, the truck from the owner/operator. The company then claims that it is not responsible for the accident because it does not employ the driver and it does not own the truck. Federal laws and regulations have put an end to these arguments. Now a company owning a trucking permit is held responsible for all accidents involving a truck that has its placard or name displayed somewhere on the vehicle.
Scenarios Where a Trucking Company May be at Fault
While there are clear situations where a driver is at fault for an accident, it is not always clear when a trucking company may be responsible, at least in part. There are a number of common scenarios that arise.
- The driver was pressured by the trucking company to drive too many hours without rest.
- The trucking company provided the driver with improper training.
- The driver of the truck was not properly licensed.
- The trucking company was negligent in enforcing safety rules.
Any of these situations can lead to a trucking company being found at fault in an accident.
Because determining fault in a truck accident can be complicated, it is often necessary to hire professionals to help put together the case. A professional accident reconstructionist or an investigator can help put the pieces together. An experienced attorney will make sure that you have the right investigators working on your claim. In addition information such as drug screening records, trucking logs, eyewitness reports, and recordings from any trucking cameras or black boxes can provide useful evidence of what happened and who is at fault.
Contact an experienced attorney
If you were involved in an accident involving a commercial truck, you should know that process to obtain compensation can be a complicated one. You need an attorney with a wealth of experience working on trucking accident cases. Contact the lawyers at Alpert Schreyer, LLC online or call us at 844-632-7274 for a free consultation.