Who Is Liable In A Commercial Truck Accident?
The losses and injuries that are sustained by people who are in accidents that involve commercial motor vehicles are quite similar to – but frequently more serious than – the accidents that are associated with regular car crashes. However, it is much more complicated to determine who is responsible for the damages when commercial vehicles such as large trucks are involved. Because it is so difficult to determine who is legally responsible it places commercial trucking accident victims at risk to not receive full compensation for the injuries they have sustained.
Potential Responsible Parties In Commercial Vehicle Crashes
Each truck accident incident is different. To determine who might be held responsible for the damages that are sustained in an auto accident, the best thing to do is speak with an experienced truck accident attorney Corpus Christi. The Law Offices Of Jerry J. Trevino are available for consultations. Some of the more common possibilities include the following:
The Truck Driver:
The most obvious and first possibility is the other drive in a motor vehicle accident, and that is whether it involves big rigs or passenger cars. However, it is a more complicated analysis whenever it involves commercial vehicles. Who bears responsibility for the actions of the driver will depend on various factors, which include whether a truck driver is an independent owner-operator or an employee.
The Trucking Company:
There are a number of different ways that a trucking company might be held responsible for an accident involving a commercial motor vehicle. When the drive is employed by a company, the trucking company might have vicarious liability – the company might be responsible just due to the fact that the responsible driver acts on behalf of his company. Other ways that a trucking company can be held responsible if there was faulty maintenance on the vehicle, failure to comply with any laws, poor policies, inadequate training, or other negligence that contributed or create the problem causing the accident.
The Truck Dealer and/or Manufacturer:
If there are any defects in the manufacture or design of the truck that contributed to or caused the accident, then the seller, manufacturer or anyone else within the supply chain might be held liable for the damages. That is also true for the seller, manufacturers or others that are involved in the supply chain for defective parts that might have contributed to the commercial vehicle accident.
Frequently commercial trucks carry materials and goods across the country and throughout states. If the goods present a hazard or are unreasonably dangerous due to the trucking company not being provided with adequate information, improper packaging or other negligence, then the customer might be held fully or partially responsible for the accident.
Multiple parties might share responsibility in some cases. If one of the parties is overlooked when a truck accident claim is being pursued it can result in an outright loss or less-than-full compensation.
Difficulties Determining Liability in Commercial Trucking Accident Cases
In commercial truck crash cases, determining liability is complicated by the fact that there are multiple potential responsible parties. However, there are other obstacles as well.
Gathering Evidence for a Truck Accident Case
It can be difficult to gather evidence for a truck accident case. That is partially due to the fact that commercial trucks are reparable and often are put back into service as soon as possible. Repairs are made and there could be new wear and tear, which can make it hard to determine what the vehicle’s condition was when the accident occurred.
Some trucking companies, as well as other potentially responsible parties, might also obscure evidence intentionally, by throwing parts away when a truck is repaired, or relevant records being misplaced or creating other barriers to evidence being gathered.
Locating and identifying witnesses following any kind of motor vehicle accident also can be difficult, and can become even harder as more time goes by.
Analyzing Evidence Following A Commercial Truck Accident
Specific expertise is usually required to assess the evidence that is part of a commercial trucking accident case, and often in multiple areas. Some of the areas might include vehicle mechanics and other potentially defective component parts, industry safety standards, and accident reconstruction.