Liable Parties in a Truck Accident
Road accidents can have a devastating effect on all the parties involved, especially when a truck is involved. Automobile collisions that involve trucks are more likely to result in severe injury or death. However, trucks are needed by various businesses to transport large amounts of their products from one location to another. To ensure the safety of road users, certain laws and restrictions have been put in place.
For instance, truck drivers are required to follow several traffic rules and regulations, even more than drivers of regular automobile drivers. However, accidents often occur as a result of the disregard for these rules.
Some of these rules vary from state to state. For instance, a truck accident attorney in Evansville must follow Indiana’s “modified comparative fault” rule which states that the plaintiff’s compensation depends on the percentage of their fault in the accident.
It is important to note that truck drivers are not always liable for truck accidents, the fault may lie with other parties such as:
Trucking companies are required, by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)- the regulating body for trucking companies, to hire qualified drivers or train them to understand and abide by the state and federal laws.
Furthermore, although the drivers might be the ones drinking or exceeding work hours, trucking companies are responsible for ensuring that their drivers adhere to the limit on working hours and alcohol testing requirements. Therefore, should a truck driver be found wanting for inexperience, overworking, or elevated alcohol levels after an accident, the trucking company may be held accountable.
In addition, trucking companies are responsible for keeping their trucks in good working condition. Car accidents often occur due to the operation of faulty trucks, when this happens, the responsible trucking company can be held accountable.
Apart from old trucks in need of maintenance, even a new truck, in the process of driving it, can develop a fault that leads to an accident. How does that happen if the vehicle is new? Good question.
Defective vehicle parts such as brake systems may be inadvertently used when assembling trucks. When this happens, truck drivers can lose control of their vehicles, especially when they’re moving at a high speed.
If there is damage to persons and their properties as a result of this, the manufacturers of the vehicle parts are liable for the damages and may pay compensation to the injured party.
Third-Party, Cargo And Loading Companies
Trucking companies are often established with the intention of loaning their vehicles out to manufacturers of other products who need trucks to move their products. In the event that a trucking company has loaned out their vehicle, the third-party will be temporarily responsible for the truck and everything concerning it for the duration of the loan.
Another scenario is a case where a trucking company outsources the loading of their products to cargo and loading companies. Employees of loading companies may fail to properly secure the cargo which may cause the truck to become unbalanced, and an unbalanced truck has a greater chance of rolling over. In this case, the loading companies will shoulder the blame for the accident.