Truck accidents are potentially one of the most life-threatening road mishaps. The chances of serious injuries and death are high in these incidents, while the damage to the property of the victim may be intensive as well. Liability for the accident is the key concern in such cases. The reason is that the victim needs to claim recovery for damages from the party that is actually responsible for their injury and property damage. However, the determination of liability can be confusing because trucking accidents typically involve many individuals. Further, there is also the involvement of at least one company depending on the type of trucker driving the vehicle.
For commercial trucks, for example, the driver may be hired by a company which ships equipment or items. On the other hand, they may drive as an independent contractor without involving an agency. In such situations, the liability for the accident solely lies with the trucker. Knowing the connection that exists is vital, both for the victim who is seeking compensation and the lawyer who is helping with the legal claim. At the same time, an expert lawyer can help you investigate the matter and determine the party at fault. Based on how things are in specific cases, the potentially responsible party in a trucking accident can be one of the following.
The truck driver
Your first instinct as a victim would be to hold the driver responsible for the accident. The driver may be liable for the crash for different reasons. It could range from distracted driving to an operational issue within the vehicle or violation of the traffic rules. In worst cases, the mishap could happen when the driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Other factors that increase the probability of an accident include long hours of driving in a single trip, drowsiness, driving at night and health status of the driver. If any of these conditions apply, the truck driver is liable for the injury or property damage to the victim. No other person or company can be held responsible.
The trucking company
Apart from the trucker, the company that hires a trucker may also be responsible for the accident. Proving this, though, maybe difficult unless an expert is able to clarify certain matters. An experienced attorney for a truck accident in Nashville Tennessee explains that besides the driver’s fault, the trucking company is also responsible for putting the driver behind the wheel. It is a good idea to consult with an experienced attorney if you are struggling with establishing the liability of a big trucking business that is responsible for your injuries. Maybe, the company is cutting corners around safety, not maintaining the vehicles well enough or not adhering to the rules related to the driver’s work hours. An expert lawyer can actually uncover these facts during an investigation and prove that the company is liable to pay the victim.
The truck owner
In another scenario, the owner of the vehicle may be considered liable for the mishap. This happens when the truck is not owned by the trucking company; rather it just outsources vehicles and provides them to truckers. The owner, in this case, is responsible for regular inspection and maintenance of the engine, tires, brakes and the internal parts of the truck. They also need to ensure the optimal levels of fluids and upkeep of the electronic system of the vehicle. These inspection and maintenance of trucks is guided by federal regulations, which the owners have to abide by. If they fail to follow these guidelines and there is an accident, the owner is held liable for damages.
The manufacturer or cargo loader
In the trucking accidents where cargo is involved, the loader is responsible for inspecting the cargo and securing it properly. If the boxes or equipment fall off the truck and cause damage to one or more vehicles behind, the loader may become liable. In yet other cases, the liability may fall on the manufacturer of truck parts. Defective parts are often associated with faulty brakes, tire blowout and mechanical failure. Here, the lawyer has to prove that the accident was caused by the defect in the truck part.
Getting a favourable verdict in a personal injury greatly depends on the fact that you are able to determine the liability of the guilty party and prove it as well. This becomes all the more important in case of a trucking accident because fixing a liability is not as straightforward as it is in case of car crashes. Only a seasoned lawyer can help you in this context and ensure that you get the claim you deserve for the injuries and damages sustained in the accident.