Close up of a large commercial truck driving on a lonely street at night

Who Can Be Held Responsible for a Truck Accident?

Truck accidents tend to be particularly harmful because of the massive size and weight of the vehicle and its cargo. When a truck accident occurs, there are several parties that may be responsible for the crash—not just the truck driver.

Depending on the circumstances of the crash, one or more of the following parties may be held liable:

  • Truck driver
  • Trucking company
  • Owner of the truck
  • Cargo loaders
  • Manufacturer

Read on to learn more.

Truck Driver

If a truck driver does any of the following, he or she may be held liable for a crash that ensues:

  • Breaks the law
  • Experiences an operational problem in the truck
  • Becomes distracted

It is possible for a truck driver to be held solely responsible for a crash if he or she consumes drugs or alcohol while on duty.

Other elements that may contribute to a crash in which the truck driver would be held liable include:

  • Long hours during a single trip
  • Driving at night
  • Drowsy driving
  • Health ailments

Trucking Company

Proving that a trucking company contributed to an accident can be a hefty challenge, but it is much more likely with the help of a skilled attorney and expert testimony because these professionals are able to expose certain factors that most people aren’t trained to look for.

Issues that can hold a trucking company responsible for a crash include:

  • Incomplete inspections
  • Cutting corners around safety
  • Unrealistic expectations that push the driver too hard in an effort to meet deadlines

Investigations of this nature can indicate that the trucking company and a manufacturer share the responsibility in a crash as a result of faulty equipment and cutting corners in order to amplify speed.

Expert testimony and an experienced attorney can expose these factors through an investigation into the company following a crash.

Owner of the Truck

If the trucking company that employes the driver does not own the truck but uses it and provides it for a driver, the owner may share liability in an accident. Truck owners are responsible for the following maintenance:

  • Inspecting the vehicle
  • Checking the engine
  • Tire upkeep
  • Internal workings of the vehicle

In addition, the owner must maintain the required parts, including:

  • Brakes
  • Fluids inside the vehicle
  • Electronic system

These trucks are governed under federal regulations and must be regularly inspected and maintained. If a truck owner fails to follow the steps specified by the federal government, he or she may be liable for damages.

Cargo Loaders

If a crash occurs due to cargo falling off a truck and people or property are damaged as a result, the workers who loaded it may be held liable. This can be the case if the loader fails to thoroughly inspect the cargo and adequately secure it.

Manufacturer

The manufacturer of the truck or even just some of the parts on the truck can be held accountable for a crash if there is a defect that causes an accident. A malfunction of certain parts on the truck could lead to any of the following:

  • Tire blowout
  • Mechanical failure
  • Faulty brakes

In such a situation, the manufacturer of the parts can be held liable for damages incurred by the victim.

If you’ve been injured in a truck accident through no fault of your own, you may be able to recover compensation for your losses. Our team is highly skilled in this area of the law and has helped many others in similar situations obtain justice. Let us see if we can help you too.

Contact Christie Farrell Lee & Bell today with the details of your case by calling (317) 245-3709 or filling out our online contact form to learn more about how we can help.

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