Who’s At Fault in a Trucking Accident?

Finding out the liable party for a routine fender-bender is often difficult enough, but is sometimes fairly clear-cut. At the very least, there are usually only two parties involved. This is not the case with auto accidents involving 18-wheelers or large trucks. Because the truck driver is on-the-job, a thorough investigation is needed to determine the true liable party. This blog will go over a few parties that are often found liable in trucking accidents. 

  1. Truck driver. Most investigations post-trucking accidents begin with the individual behind the wheel. Statistics show that driver error is the most common cause of trucking accidents. If the truck driver in your case was speeding, driving recklessly, driving while distracted or under the influence of a substance, or otherwise operating the vehicle in an unsafe manner, the liability probably lies with him or her. Another way that driver error occurs within the context of trucking accidents is when the driver makes a mistake due to fatigue, which may signal liability on the employer’s part. 
  2. Trucking company. Occasionally, a truck driver is merely an independent contractor that assumes liability for (almost) anything that happens during the course of work. More often, though, truck drivers are employees of a company that coordinates one or more aspects of the job. The employer is responsible for screening drivers and ensuring they have the qualifications to perform the work; most important in the screening process is making sure drivers have their commercial driver’s license (CDL). It is also not uncommon for trucking companies to pressure drivers to meet unreasonable demands, which can result in drivers’ working longer consecutive hours than the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration permits. 
  3. Truck owner. Sometimes, the trucking company or driver is the owner of an 18-wheeler. Other times, the trucking company or driver leases the truck itself from a third party. Regardless of who the owner is, routine maintenance and inspection must be performed on the vehicle. 
  4. Cargo or loading company. There are strict regulations to ensure a truck’s cargo is loaded properly and safely for road travel. There are restrictions on weight and the manner in which cargo is secured. Even the best truck drivers can lose control of their vehicle if the cargo was not properly loaded. Trucks can easily tip over when traveling through curves if the cargo is too heavy or not secure. 

You Need a Special Lawyer

If you or a loved one was involved in a trucking accident, not just any attorney will do. You need an aggressive legal team to investigate the crash, determine the liable party, and go after them for damages. We would be honored to be your legal representation in your personal injury case. We will have your back throughout the process; give our firm a call today at 360-893-2527 to discuss your options.

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McMahon Law Group

Legal issues of any type can be a frightening and overwhelming experience, and certainly something you don’t want to face alone. Attorney Jacque McMahon and the McMahon Law Group will work closely with you to ensure you not only get the best legal representation possible, but that you are well-informed throughout the process. If you are facing legal issues, please contact us to discuss your situation and get the help you need.

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