Who is Liable in a Truck Accident?

Truck accidents vastly differ from car crashes. One of the biggest differences lies in the fact that multiple parties can be found liable after a collision involving a truck. When two passenger vehicles are involved in a crash, one or two of the drivers at the scene are considered at fault for the accident. When a truck is involved in a crash, the truck driver at the scene may be found liable. However, many other parties can be found liable too. Due to the fact that these entities are not directly involved in the crash, it is much harder to identify them.

Truck Drivers

Although truck drivers are not always the only ones to blame for a crash, truckers do sometimes act negligently and cause an accident. Operating a truck in a reckless manner, driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs, and violations of the federal hours of service rule are just a few ways in which truckers cause accidents. When a trucker causes a crash, you must determine whether the driver is an employee of a trucking company or an independent contractor. That will determine who you must file a claim against to recover damages.

Trucking Companies

A liable party people do not often think about is the trucking company responsible for the trucker and the actual truck. Trucking companies must ensure they are only placing experienced and competent truckers behind the wheel. This involves providing all truck drivers with proper training and performing background checks on any driver’s criminal and driving history. When they do not fulfill these duties, they can be held liable. Trucking companies also sometimes intentionally violate the law, such as providing incentives to truckers who violate the hours of service rule. Trucking companies can be held liable for these acts, as well.

Truck Manufacturers

Hundreds of moving parts make up a truck. Manufacturers of these parts, and those responsible for creating the truck as a whole, must ensure these parts are safe. When brakes, tires, steering systems, and electrical systems of a truck are defective, a serious accident can ensue. When manufacturers of trucks and their parts do not make sure they are safe, they can be held liable for paying damages.

Loading Companies

It is not uncommon for truck drivers and trucking companies to use third parties to load and unload the truck’s cargo. It is crucial that this cargo is loaded properly. If it is not, there is a risk of it falling out of, or off of, the truck. Improperly loaded cargo can also shift easily during transport, which can throw the entire vehicle off-balance. A truck driver may be unable to control the vehicle once it is off balance.

Our Truck Accident Lawyer in Toledo Can Determine Liability

Determining which party is liable for a collision is one of the hardest aspects of any truck accident. At Groth & Associates, our Toledo truck accident lawyer knows how to determine who was at fault for a crash so you can claim the full damages available. Call us today at 419.830.4246 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.