When determining liability in truck accidents resulting in injuries or fatalities, several factors come at play, such as the existence of negligence. Considering these factors, there are instances when the driver’s employer—the trucking company—is partially or independently responsible.
Violation of the trucking guidelines
One of the apparent ways a truck company can be liable for truck accident injuries is by violating, intentionally or not, trucking guidelines. Common violations include the following:
- Hours of service violations: There are federal regulations limiting how many hours a truck driver can be on the road without rest. If a trucking company allows or encourages drivers to exceed these hours, and an accident results from driver fatigue, the company could be responsible.
- Safety regulations violations: Trucking companies must adhere to all safety regulations, considering the gravity of potential accidents involving trucks. If an accident occurs because a company violated safety standards, they may be liable.
- Weight limit laws violations: Overloading a truck can lead to tire blowouts, brake failures and other issues that can cause accidents. If a trucking company fails to follow the weight limit laws and overloads a vehicle, it may be liable for any resulting injuries.
Hence, looking into a truck company’s compliance with guidelines and regulations is crucial in a truck accident investigation.
Management and operation negligence
Truck companies can also be responsible for damages if they negligently manage and operate their business, directly resulting in accidents. Some examples of negligent management and operation include the following:
- Negligent hiring: If a trucking company fails to properly investigate a driver’s qualifications, experience or driving record before hiring them, and this negligence contributes to an accident, the company could be liable.
- Inadequate training: Trucking companies must adequately train their drivers. The company may be liable if an accident occurs because a driver was not properly trained.
- Poor vehicle maintenance: Trucking companies must maintain their vehicles in safe working order. If an accident results from a failure to maintain the truck, such as bad brakes or worn tires, the company can be responsible.
There are multiple other ways a truck company can be liable for injuries or fatalities due to a truck accident involving one of their commercial vehicles.
If you or a loved one were involved in a truck accident and are unsure of how to proceed with your claim, seeking assistance from a skilled legal representative can help you find the answers you need.