Can More Than One Party be Held Liable for a Truck Accident?
Posted on behalf of Phillips Law Group on Oct 11, 2017 in Auto Accidents
There are often several parties involved in a commercial trucking operation. Each one has its own set of responsibilities to ensure the truck is safe and ready for road use.
If you were injured in an accident involving a commercial truck, you may be able to hold multiple parties liable for your damages. However, these parties are often quick to deny fault and distance their involvement to avoid liability after an accident.
You will need a qualified truck accident lawyer in Phoenix to help you identify which parties are at fault for causing the accident and may owe you compensation for your injuries and losses. At the Phillips Law Group, our attorneys are familiar with the commercial trucking industry and the roles that each party plays in a trucking operation. We will help you pursue all parties liable for your damages so to help you recover maximum compensation for your claim.
Driver error is the most commonly reported cause of commercial truck accidents. If you were injured in an accident caused by a truck driver’s negligence, we will investigate the crash to determine if the driver:
- Suffered driver fatigue before the crash
- Suffered a medical condition that rendered him or her disabled and unable to operate a vehicle
- Operated the truck while impaired by drugs or alcohol
- Was distracted and failed to focus on the road or observe his or her surroundings
- Failed to anticipate hazards in the roadway
- Violated traffic laws, such as speeding or running red lights
- Engaged in reckless driving, including showing aggression or tailgating other vehicles
- Violated the FMCSA’s hours of service rule that regulate how many hours can be driven before specific breaks are required
Our truck accident lawyer will conduct a thorough review of the crash and the commercial driver involved to determine if he or she has any violations or infractions on his or her driving record. We will also obtain the data recorded by the truck’s event data record, or “black box,” to find out the vehicle’s speed before the collision.
We will use our findings to determine if the driver is at fault for causing your accident and can be held liable for your damages.
Trucking companies are responsible for hiring qualified drivers, training them, and using drug and alcohol screening to prevent substance abuse. If a trucking company fails to uphold this obligation, it can be held liable for a truck accident.
Our attorneys may be able to pursue compensation from a trucking company if it:
- Hired unqualified drivers who do not have a commercial driver’s license (CDL)
- Did not adequately train its drivers to handle a large commercial truck or undergo long-distance travel
- Hired a driver with a history of drug or alcohol violations or a bad driving record
- Allowed or encouraged drivers to violate the FMCSA’s hours of service rule
If a trucking company owns the truck, it is responsible for regularly maintaining the vehicle and inspecting it for any repairs. Our attorneys will obtain the trucking company’s vehicle inspection logs and review its employment records.
We will use this information to determine if the trucking company violated any federal regulations or hired unqualified or inexperienced drivers that were at a high risk of causing an accident. If we discover that the trucking company committed any violations, we will hold it liable for your damages.
The company that loads a commercial truck with its cargo is responsible for ensuring the contents are secured and safe for road travel. If your accident was cargo-related, our truck accident attorneys will review the following situations to determine if the loading company can be held liable:
- Was the cargo unsecured and loose before the accident?
- Was the truck’s cargo exposed?
- Did the truck or tractor-trailer tip or fall over because of improper distribution of the cargo’s weight?
- Did the truck’s cargo or contents fall from the vehicle?
Our attorneys will evaluate the truck’s cargo records to find out if the shipment’s owner, loader or transporter was liable for securing the vehicle’s contents. If we find that one of these parties failed to uphold its obligation to secure the truck’s cargo, we will help you pursue compensation for any damage it may have caused.
Defective truck parts and mechanical failures are another common cause of commercial truck accidents. If your truck accident was caused by a defective part, we may be able to hold the manufacturer liable for your damages.
Although many of a truck’s mechanical issues are caused by inadequate maintenance, the following factors may indicate your accident was caused by a defective part:
- Tire blowouts
- Steering system failure
- Brake failure
- Defective lighting
- Defective trailer hitch
- Transmission failure
Our attorneys will review the vehicle’s maintenance logs to determine if the mechanical issues were caused by the owner’s negligence. However, we will also find out if the vehicle’s parts or brand is known to be defective or included in a recall.
When you contact our attorneys, we will discuss the possibility of filing a product liability claim against the vehicle’s manufacturer for installing a defective part in the truck that created a risk of causing an accident.
Contact Our Truck Accident Lawyers Now
Truck accidents are often complex cases. You will need an attorney on your side who knows which parties can be held liable for the injuries you suffered.
The injury lawyers of Phillips Law know the laws regulating the trucking industry and which parties can be held liable after a collision involving a commercial truck. We will apply our skills and knowledge to help you recover the compensation you deserve.
Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation today to find out if you have legal options to pursue compensation for your claim. All of our attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means we never charge upfront for our services. We only accept payment if we recover compensation for your claim.