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Who Is Liable in an Accident With a Commercial Truck?

On Behalf of | Dec 20, 2019 | Vehicle Accidents

Accidents involving commercial trucks are rather common due to these vehicles’ large size, weight, long stopping distance, and driver fatigue. These accidents can result in fatalities, life-changing injuries, loss of income, property damage, and other debilitating consequences. Seeking damages after a commercial truck accident entails pinpointing the liable party, which can be a challenge. Here are some tips that will help identify who is liable in a truck accident.

Trucking Company

Under personal injury laws, the principle of respondeat superior is the standard, which means “let the master answer.” In application, it means the company that hired the negligent or unqualified truck driver is liable for the accident. The employer is liable if the driver’s act was unintentional and committed within the scope of employment. A personal injury lawyer will help you investigate any negligent hiring, training, and unsafe working policies that could have led to the accident.

Truck Owner

Some trucking companies don’t own the truck, but rather lease it and hire a trucker. The truck owner is responsible for their truck’s inspection and maintenance. If the owner doesn’t follow the federal regulations for proper truck maintenance, they can become liable for damages if improper maintenance leads to an accident.

Cargo Loaders

Cargo loaders should carefully inspect and secure the cargo during loading. If the cargo falls off during transit and causes an accident, cargo loaders can be held liable.

Negligent Driver

The driver will take some of the liability for the crash if you can prove that their conduct led to the accident. If a driver has not met all Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR), it is possible to sue them in your compensation suit.

Truck Manufacturer

The truck manufacturer is liable if a crash occurs due to the malfunction of vital parts. Some of the more common truck defects include defective tires, brake failure, defective anti-lock braking system (ABS), and malfunctioning steering components.

Filing a claim and securing financial compensation in a truck accident can be a complicated process. Truck accident victims often face intimidation by large freight and trucking companies, as well as the insurance companies. At the law firm of Smith Shanklin Sosa, we work diligently with accident victims and their families in Baton Rouge to help them receive compensation. If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident with a commercial truck, contact us today for a free consultation.