Q: Which Parties May Be Liable for a Truck Accident?
Depending on the circumstances, the driver or the driver's employer, and even the truck manufacturer may be liable for causing your accident.
The truck accident lawyers at the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, P.C. can help you figure out who is liable for your wreck and file claims against them on your behalf. Call us today at 404-474-0804 to talk about your situation.
Who Is Liable for Your Truck Accident?
If we pursue damages on your behalf, we may file a claim against any party who contributed to the accident. One or more of the following parties may be liable:
Our attorneys file most truck accident claims against the truck driver.Truck drivers are responsible for operating their vehicles safely and by state laws. When a truck driver operates his or her truck negligently or recklessly and causes an accident, they may be liable for any resulting injuries and damages. Negligent truck drivers may engage in one or more of these behaviors behind the wheel:
Fatigued Driving: Truck drivers may have to drive through the night to ensure their deliveries reach their destination on time. Because of this pressure, many drivers do not adhere to the federal trucking regulations that require them to take frequent breaks and end up falling asleep at the wheel. When the driver falls asleep, the truck may veer into oncoming traffic and cause a serious collision.
Distracted Driving: Truck drivers drive for long stretches of time. Some drivers may find it difficult to focus and resort to checking their phones, texting, adjusting the radio, reading, eating or engaging in other distracting behaviors. However, taking your eyes off the road for even a few seconds can have catastrophic consequences.
Drunk Driving: Truck drivers that are under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of an accident may be liable for the victims’ damages. Alcohol and drugs may impair the driver’s decision-making abilities, slow reaction times and cause blurred vision.
Failing to Follow Traffic Laws/Driver Errors: The law holds truck drivers to a higher standard than drivers of passenger vehicles due to the risks posed by their large vehicles. Truck drivers who do not have proper training or enough experience are more likely to make errors behind the wheel. Truckers must adhere to all trucking regulations and state traffic laws. The most common violations include:
- Speeding or driving too fast for conditions
- Disobeying traffic control devices such as red lights and stop signs
- Making sharp turns
- Failing to yield the right-of-way
- Failure to apply brakes
To file a negligence claim against a truck driver, we will establish the following:
- The driver acted negligently by breaching a duty owed to you.
- The driver’s negligence caused your accident.
- You suffered damages in the accident.
Truck drivers are not the only ones responsible for an accident victim’s injuries and damages. We may also file our claim against the trucking company that employs the driver.Trucking companies may be liable under the following theories:
- Respondeat superior – Under this theory, the trucking company is vicariously liable for the negligent actions of their employee, as long as the company, in fact, employed them and they acted within their scope of employment at the time of the accident.
- Negligent hiring – If a trucking company hires a driver without investigating his or her background, it could be liable for accidents the driver causes. For example, a company that hires a driver who does not have a commercial license can be liable for negligent hiring.
- Negligent supervision – Companies must train their supervisors and drivers adequately according to federal trucking regulations. Failure to properly train employees may constitute negligent supervision. Trucking companies that encourage drivers to violate trucking laws to make deliveries on time may also be liable.
- Failure to inspect – Trucking companies and drivers must conduct regular inspections to make sure their trucks are working properly. If a company fails to inspect a truck and a defect causes an accident, they could be liable for damages.
In addition to truck drivers and trucking companies, truck manufacturers may also be liable for your truck accident. Tire blowouts, faulty brakes, defective steering and other mechanical defects can cause truck accidents. If a truck malfunctions and that malfunction causes an accident, the truck manufacturer and the manufacturer of the faulty part may be liable for damages if we can establish that the defect caused the accident. However, drivers and trucking companies also may be liable if they did not conduct regular inspections of the vehicle.
File a Claim Against Liable Parties in Your Accident
If you sustained injuries in a truck accident, talk the attorneys at the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz P.C. We can evaluate your claim, determine who is liable for your injuries, and pursue compensation on your behalf. For more information, call 404-474-0804.