Who Can Be Held Liable After a Truck Accident?

Something which a Connecticut truck accident lawyer recently stated rings very true when it comes to truck accidents, especially regarding their frequency. What she stated was that the main reason why we often hear about incidents involving trucks, is because of the severity of the consequences. In reality truck accidents make up less than 30%, but 74% of fatalities on the road last year involved a large truck. This of course is down to the weight of the truck versus a car, and it is exactly why truck accidents are heard about more than any other road traffic collision.

When a truck accent occurs, there are a number of parties who can be considered liable, let’s take a look.

The Driver

We will start with the most obvious party who can be considered liable in this kind of accident and that is the driver. Much like a car driver, truck drivers are considered liable if they have been driving without due care and attention, if they are under the influence or if they have flouted rules around the number of hours which they have spent on the road.

The Manufacturer

The manufacturer of the truck and its parts is another potentially liable party in a truck accident, and this happens far more frequently than say a car manufacturer. Just over 30% of truck accidents are caused because of tire issues, and in the main this comes down to the manufacturers of the truck and/or the tires.

Company Responsible For Truck Maintenance

The maintenance of the truck is not the responsibility of the driver, but rather the trucking company. All checks must be completed in accordance with the law, and if any have been missed or completed incorrectly, the trucking company will be held responsible for any accidents. In the case of tire issues for example, it may be that the tires met requirements when they were installed, but that they have not be correctly checked by the trucking company.

Cargo Loading

Some 10% of accidents occur because of poorly-loaded cargo, which can cause the driver issues with regards to how the trucks carries the weight. A sharp corner will throw the cargo around in the trailer and that can easily result in the driver losing control. If an accident is caused in this way, the company or individuals who loaded the cargo can be held liable.

Highway Design

In some rate occasions we have seen local government held responsible for accidents involving trucks, usually when they are carrying out maintenance. This is because of the fact that they have failed to take large vehicles into consideration when they have made temporary road changes. Contractors or local government which plan these moves have to factor in all vehicles which use the road, and a failure to do so can see them held responsible for any accidents which occur as a result.

As you can see, this is a much more complicated issue than when we see a collision involving cars.