Commercial Truck Accidents – Who is Liable?

Commercial trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds when loaded with cargo, and they can also be more than 110 feet long. This makes them very dangerous. Collisions between trucks and passenger vehicles often lead to serious injuries and even death. Victims may suffer broken bones, spinal cord injuries, burns, lacerations, internal hemorrhaging, traumatic brain injuries, and other types of injuries. Unlike a car accident, where liability usually falls on the driver or the car manufacturer, there may be many different parties who are liable for a commercial truck accident. These include:

  1. The truck driver
  2. The trucking company
  3. The truck manufacturer
  4. The cargo loading company
  5. The truck maintenance company

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), truckers and trucking companies must abide by certain rules to help prevent accidents. Specifically, truckers must not drive over a certain number of hours per week, and they must also take regular rest breaks to avoid driving while drowsy. Furthermore, truckers must inspect their vehicles before every trip. If they fail to follow these protocols, and cause an accident, they may be held liable for your injuries. While truck driver error is a main cause of truck crashes in the U.S., there are other factors that may contribute to an accident. These include defective or poorly designed parts, unbalanced or overloaded cargo, and worn tires or other hazardous conditions resulting from improper maintenance. If a defective or poorly designed part caused the crash, the manufacturer may be found liable in court.

The Cargo Loading Company & Maintenance Company May Also Be Legally Responsible

In some cases, trucking companies use independent cargo loading and maintenance crews to prepare the trucks for transport. An investigation will be necessary to determine what caused the crash and who is responsible. If improperly loaded cargo caused the accident, you may pursue compensation from the cargo loading company. On the other hand, if a worn out part that should have been replaced caused the wreck, you may file a claim against the maintenance company.

What to Do After a Truck Accident

If you are involved in a commercial truck crash, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. You should also take pictures of the scene, and request a copy of your medical records and the police report. The trucking company’s insurance provider will conduct an investigation, and federal agencies will also be involved to determine what happened. It is important to gather evidence to build your case, and to seek legal assistance as you pursue justice from those responsible.

Our Bryan Truck Accident Attorneys Are Ready to Assist You – Call (979) 227-4888 Today

Waltman & Grisham Attorneys at Law has more than 3 decades of legal experience. We are passionate about holding negligent parties accountable in court. If you were injured in a truck accident, our team of Bryan truck accident lawyers will perform a thorough investigation and guide you through the legal process. We will stand by your side every step of the way. Contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation. We offer services in Spanish for your convenience.