Ask a Lawyer: Who Is Responsible for Trucking Accidents?

Posted By Caputo & Van Der Walde LLP || 24-May-2018

When it comes to trucking accidents, liability can often be complex. There may be multiple parties responsible and understanding how negligence is determined is important for anyone going through a truck accident case after an injury.

Because we know how difficult it can be to navigate the legal matters involving a trucking company, our attorney, Paul Van Der Walde, answers some common questions regarding liability in a trucking crash case.

Why Would a Truck Driver Be Considered Liable?

Truck drivers have liability for operation maintenance and inspection of the vehicle. They are required to do a pre-trip inspection of the truck including an examination of important systems such as braking and steering.

They must perform visual inspections and mechanical operation tests. If they fail to do proper inspections and provide reports to make sure it's road worthy, they can be held responsible, as can the company for which they drive.

What Other Parties May Be Responsible?

Depending on the nature of the accident, if it's just operator error, then for sure the driver and the company he or she is driving for would likely be responsible. But the liability for safety in the operation and maintenance of a truck can't be delegated.

If a person who needs a product hauled from point A to point B, they may hire a trucking company that doesn’t have the correct equipment. They may sub-contract to one company and then another.

Ultimately what happens is the job is delegated to an unsafe company who doesn't maintain their fleet. In that situation, people all the way up the chain can be responsible for operator and maintenance errors.

What is an Uneven Load?

Trucks, when they're driving, can be filled with aggregate or packages and if the load is not distributed evenly, especially with double trailer, differences in operation and the forces are against each of them.

For a double dump truck, the second one is going to be a lot heavier and there will be more forces on it than the lighter one. If in a box truck, everything is on one side, the truck has a lot more chance of crashing or rolling over.

How Can it be Proved Hours of Service Regulations are Ignored, Causing a Crash?

All drivers are require to keep a log. We have to analyze the log relative to the roots that they drove relative to the time it would take to drive the routes including stops. Reality is, the time it takes to make the trip vs. what they actually did is often fabricated.

Truck accidents are often the most dangerous, leaving victims with life-altering injuries as a result. At Caputo & Van Der Walde, we dedicate ourselves to representing those who have been harmed by negligence. Our Campbell trucking accident lawyers are ready to help you.

Call us today to discuss your potential case.

Categories: Truck Collision
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