Any accident is already stressful enough, but throw a commercial truck into the mix, and you’ve got yourself a royally painful and complex case. Unlike with car accidents, factors such as OSHA regulations and scope of employment can impact who is at fault in a truck accident. If you’ve been involved in an wreck with a commercial truck, this is what you need to know about potential liable parties.
Commercial Truck Accident Liability
In the case of an accident with a commercial truck that was the result of negligence or misconduct, you may be able to pursue compensation from the following parties:
- The truck driver: This is usually the first party thrust into the spotlight after an accident. Drivers sometimes drive recklessly or under the influence of drugs or alcohol, both of which can place blame on them. However, it is entirely possible that the driver and an additional party could both be liable.
- The trucking company: If the owner/renter/manager of the truck forces a driver to engage in dangerous behavior, they can be held liable for an accident. Examples of this include forcing a driver to work more hours in a row than is legal or failing to inspect and maintain their fleet of vehicles.
- The cargo company: A cargo company, which is in charge of loading goods onto a truck, can be held liable for an accident if they improperly load or overload cargo. If protocol isn’t followed when loading cargo, it can result in a commercial truck driver losing control of their vehicle.
- The truck manufacturer: A driver can operate their vehicle as safe as possible and still get in an accident if the truck malfunctions. A defective truck may be the fault of the truck manufacturer or designer, both of who can be held liable for a crash.
- The maintenance and repair company: Trucking companies sometimes hire a third party to check on their trucks. If they fail to properly inspect the vehicles, they can be held accountable for any accidents that occur as a result.