Truck accidents are known to result in extremely complex claims due to the difficulties of determining whether the truck driver or the trucking company is liable for any damages related to the accident. Depending on the factors and circumstances surrounding the accident, either the truck driver, company, or both parties may be found liable for the crash.
If you have recently been involved in a truck accident, it’s in your best interest to secure legal counsel as soon as possible. A skilled personal injury lawyer can review your case and advise you on the best strategy for recovering compensation for any accident-related losses. Here is some important information to know about determining liability in truck accidents.
Trucking companies are legally required to comply with state and federal laws outlining regulations related to maintenance, operation, hiring, and training. When a trucking company fails to comply with these laws, it can be found liable in truck accidents. Here are some of the most common factors that can result in trucking companies being found at fault in trucking accidents.
Trucking companies are required to perform regular maintenance to keep their trucks safe. As part of proper maintenance protocols, trucking companies are required to perform regular inspections, execute preventative measures, and make immediate repairs. When trucking companies fail to follow maintenance requirements, they put both their drivers and other drivers on the road at risk of accidents.
Truck drivers can only drive a certain amount of days and hours each week. Additionally, as part of their hours of service requirements, trucking companies are required to provide mandatory breaks to drivers during their shifts. If trucking companies fail to enforce these rules, it results in fatigued drivers on the road who are more prone to getting into an accident.
Trucking companies are also required to enforce high standards during their hiring process by only hiring safe drivers who have the qualifications needed to operate specific trucks. If a trucking company hires a driver with a bad driving record or without a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), they may be found liable in the case of an accident.
Trucking companies are required to properly load their vehicles. Each truck has specific weight requirements that the loader must follow to ensure cargo is secured during transport. If trucking companies fail to securely load their cargo, they may be held accountable in the case of an accident.
These are just a few of the most common ways that a trucking company can be found at fault for an accident.
Truck drivers are required to act within the scope of their employment. While it is more common for trucking companies to be found liable in truck accidents, there are a handful of situations in which a truck driver may be found financially liable. Some scenarios in which a truck driver may be found liable in a truck accident include:
- The driver is a contractor and is not technically an employee of the trucking company
- The driver made negligent choices behind the wheel, such as speeding or being under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- The driver was using the truck outside the scope of their employment, such as for personal use
Ultimately, the best way to understand the party who is at fault in your accident is to consult a skilled personal injury lawyer.
Getting into a truck accident can be a jarring, overwhelming experience. While the immediate situation may be stressful, securing legal representation as soon as possible is the best way to ensure your rights are protected.
At Sutliff & Stout, our experienced team has the skills and expertise to help ensure you receive fair compensation for your damages. Our firm has been recognized as one of the top personal injury law firms in Houston, and our team has helped thousands of individuals with their car accident claims.
If you are looking to discuss your car accident case with a personal injury lawyer, the team at Sutliff & Stout is here to help. Call us today at (713) 987-7111 or contact us online to discuss your injury or car accident claim.