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Who Is Liable in a Truck Accident?

Published on October 15th, 2019

Truck Accident Liability

When someone is involved in an accident caused by another driver, that driver is responsible for fully compensating the victim of the accident. If that other driver is a big truck, things can be more complicated. Is the driver responsible, or is the trucking company, or is someone else entirely? If you were the victim in an accident with a big truck, you need to figure out who is liable before you can get the compensation you are owed. Remember, the first step should be to speak with an attorney, like a truck accident lawyer in Fredericksburg, VA, who can help you file a lawsuit against the right party.

Liability

There are three parties that may be responsible for a big truck accident:

  • The trucker
  • The trucking company
  • The truck manufacturer

Additionally, it is important to realize that sometimes more than one party can be partially at fault. You may be able to file lawsuits against multiple parties to fully reclaim what is yours. Let’s take a closer look at when each of these parties may be responsible.

The Trucker

The person driving the truck is most commonly the party at fault for the accident. The vast majority of accidents, whether they involve a big truck or not, are caused by a driver. It is very common to become distracted or make mistakes while driving. If something the driver did — or failed to do — caused the accident, chances are very high that the driver is liable to pay compensation.

The Trucking Company

The company that owns and operates the truck may also sometimes be liable for accidents. This will be the case if they did not fulfill their obligations in some way. For example, they may have cut some corners when it comes to safety. If the company failed to properly ensure the driver was capable of driving the truck before hiring him or her, then the company and the driver may both be partially liable. It is rare for the trucking company to be entirely liable, but it does happen sometimes.

The Truck Manufacturer

The company who manufactured the truck, or other equipment that was in use, may be held liable if a piece of equipment failed and caused the accident. If this happens, the driver may be partially at fault for not evaluating the safety of the truck before driving, or the trucking company may be partially at fault for not maintaining the truck correctly. If the accident was caused because of equipment failure, determining who is to blame is very difficult. You should leave that matter up to an attorney.

Thanks to MartinWren, P.C. for their insight into who can be held liable in a truck accident.

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