Navigating the aftermath of a big rig accident can be a daunting process for victims and their families. Understanding who's at fault is crucial in seeking justice and getting compensation for your injuries. In many cases, the trucking company may be held liable for the accident. Here's a comprehensive guide to understanding when and why this can happen.
Understanding Liability in Truck Accidents
In this section, we examine the concept of liability in trucking accidents. This involves understanding the factors that determine culpability and the reasons why a trucking company, despite not being directly involved in the accident, can be held responsible. Let's begin by exploring the legal premise that underpins this aspect of personal injury law.
First, when can a trucking company be held liable? A trucking company can be held liable for an accident under various circumstances:
- The truck driver was negligent.
- The trucking company did not take reasonable care to ensure safety.
- The truck driver’s behavior violated state and federal laws.
- The trucking company was responsible for hiring and training the driver.
- The truck had mechanical or safety problems that contributed to the crash.
Negligence by Trucking Companies
In most truck accidents, the legal concept of "negligence" is used to determine who is at fault. Negligence refers to failure to act with reasonable care or in a way that avoids causing harm to others.
Trucking companies can be negligent in several ways, including:
- Hiring drivers without proper training or background checks.
- Failing to regularly conduct maintenance and repairs on a truck.
- Allowing drivers to violate state and federal rest and break regulations by driving while fatigued or under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Overloading trucks to exceed weight restrictions.
- Failing to properly secure cargo.
Parties in Truck Accident Claims
While understanding the potential negligence of trucking companies is important, it is equally critical to identify the various parties involved in truck accident claims. These parties can significantly influence the direction and outcome of a lawsuit.
Several parties can be involved in a truck accident claim, including:
- A trucking company that pushes its drivers to keep unsafe schedules with too many hours on the road and not enough sleep.
- A trucking company that does not use safe practices in hiring, training, or supervising its drivers.
- A trucking company that does not properly maintain its trucks or trailers or a maintenance team that failed to spot signs of dangerous mechanical failures.
- A shipper or broker that hired a dangerous trucking company to save money.
- A manufacturer that made faulty parts (such as tires or brakes) that failed, causing the truck driver to lose control or making the crash worse than it should have been.
How a Truck Accident Attorney Can Help
A truck accident attorney can provide invaluable assistance by handling paperwork, offering emotional support, providing objective legal advice, saving time, maximizing compensation, representing the victim, preventing costly mistakes, and gathering important evidence to support the victim.
Trucking companies can be held liable for big rig accidents when they are negligent in their hiring, training, and supervision of drivers, fail to properly maintain their trucks, or allow drivers to violate safety regulations. Victims of truck accidents can seek the help of a truck accident attorney to hold these companies accountable and maximize their compensation.
Our firm, McGinn Montoya Love Curry & Sievers PA, has a successful track record in handling truck accident cases and fighting for justice for our clients. If you or a loved one have been injured in a truck accident, don't hesitate to contact us today for a free consultation: (505) 405-4441.