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Truck Accident Liability: Who is At Fault?

Truck accidents can be extremely damaging and may leave multiple people injured or worse. Semi-trucks weigh an average of 80,000 pounds and can cause serious devastation to anyone and anything in its path. If caught off balance or improperly driven, trucks can veer into opposing traffic, sweep across multiple lanes, or tip. Trucks might sometimes be poorly loaded, inadequately maintained, or driven carelessly. Any such mistake could cause a truck to crash, spill cargo, or otherwise cause damage. If you or someone you love was injured in a trucking accident, make sure you know your rights and how to determine who might be at fault.

Potential Causes of Trucking Accidents

There are many issues that could cause a truck accident, including, but not limited to:

  • Careless drivers
  • Drunk, drugged, or drowsy drivers
  • Inadequately trained drivers
  • Poorly loaded or overloaded trailers
  • Improperly secured cargo
  • Badly maintained trucks
  • Part or vehicle malfunctions

Issues like these can be caused by the negligence of the truck driver, the trucking company, truck manufacturer, or other parties. If you were injured in an accident, make sure you know what circumstances caused your crash.

Trucking Company Liability

Trucking companies are responsible for following certain rules and guidelines set forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA). These rules are in place to protect the truck drivers and ensure safety for all other drivers, passengers, and pedestrians on the roads. Without such rules in place, or despite these rules, trucking companies may fail to provide safe vehicles or driving conditions for their employees, putting everyone in danger. When an accident is caused by the negligence or carelessness of trucking companies, they could be held liable for the resulting damage.

Other Sources of Liability

If the driver acted negligently, he or she could be held solely liable for your accident. If the driver was poorly trained or inadequately equipped, the mistakes of the driver could be owed to the negligence of the driver’s employer. Sometimes trucking companies may refuse their drivers their allotted breaks, pushing drivers to the brink of exhaustion, leading to dangerous driver drowsiness. In these situations, the company could be at fault. However, if the driver was drugged or intoxicated, or otherwise careless, they could be held responsible for the resulting damage.

In situations where the brakes or other vehicle parts failed, the parts manufacturer might be at fault. However, if the mechanics failed because the truck was poorly maintained, the truck mechanic might be responsible, or the trucking company, if they failed to provide adequate maintenance. In other cases, the cargo companies responsible for safely packing and securing the loads carried by these large trucks could be responsible for failing to do their job properly.

Contact Goodman Acker P.C. to discuss your case with our truck accident attorneys.

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