Ascertaining just who bears the responsibility for a given truck accident is often a complicated matter. Industry know-how is important, if not essential. The common causes of truck accidents may involve the driver, the truck itself and/or its load.
Actions After an Accident
After most accidents involving commercial trucks, the actions of the driver are closely examined. Law enforcement will investigate whether the driver was impaired, fatigued, distracted or driving too fast for conditions. The driver’s logbook may be examined to determine whether the hours driven were in accordance with trucking regulations.
Authorities will also look for evidence of equipment failure such as brakes, tires, suspension and other parts failures that may have caused or contributed to accidents. If an equipment failure is found, it is often critical to determine whether improper maintenance or defective parts were to blame.
Evidence of Negligence
The presence of any of these factors may constitute evidence of negligence. Even when negligent conduct can be reasonably linked to a truck accident, work still remains. The injured party and his or her legal representative must name an appropriate defendant for any civil litigation that may seek compensation.
A host of potentially responsible parties must be considered:
- Truck owner
- Trailer owner
- Lessees of the truck and/or trailer
- The party that loaded the trailer
- Vehicle manufacturer
- Parts manufacturer
- Maintenance provider
Finger pointing is not uncommon in the aftermath of truck accidents. A trucking firm might point to defective brakes as the cause, while the brake manufacturer might point to improper maintenance. An entity that leases a tractor-trailer may blame the owner and vice versa.
Furthermore, the various insurance companies involved may spar over just where the liability lies. It is often up to a personal injury attorney to maintain a proper focus on the injuries suffered by his or her client, and on the negligence that may have caused or contributed to those injuries.
If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident that involved a commercial truck, we would welcome the opportunity to discuss the matter with you. Contact us immediately for a no-cost consultation and for more information.
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