Breaking Down Liability in Trucking Accidents
Truck accidents are easily the most harrowing accidents on the highways, regardless of the speed of the vehicle. All truck accidents create some level of damage for other involved parties, with many of those suffering serious or even fatal injuries.
Following the traumatic ordeal of a trucking accident, all injured victims and their families are faced with the possible challenge of pursuing compensation for their losses and filing trucking accident claims. Accidents resulting in death are also quite common when big trucks are involved. Many of these could result in wrongful death legal actions by the survivors who have lost loved ones and sometimes even a means of financial support.
Determining who is responsible for a truck accident can be a complicated legal task when the collision is unraveled. Below, our Texas trucking accident attorneys discuss how potential negligent parties are identified and how we can help injury victims pursue compensation for their losses.
The Truck Driver
The first party that could be liable for damages stemming from a crash is the truck driver. The sheer size of the truck in comparison to other vehicles always creates more physical damage in the event of an accident. A truck driver should understand this and always take the necessary precautions to avoid a collision.
Even when the driver did not violate any rules of the road, other details of the accident such as inspection records prior to the crash or toxicology reports can also be part of the determination equation. Events leading up to the crash can mean extenuating circumstances for final fault assignment. Liability insurance coverage on big-rigs is also significantly higher than a standard passenger vehicle, which can be very important when all financial responsibilities are evaluated.
Other At-Fault Drivers
The actions of all drivers will be evaluated in every truck accident reconstruction, and each one will be assigned a comparative negligence percentage if the case goes to trial. This is common with serious complicated truck accidents. This is also another reason it is essential to have solid legal representation, as deflecting fault is a common negotiating tactic and case defense.
While the law of vehicular control is applied generally, the details regarding driving behavior can result in fault being assigned to multiple parties. Each one is then proportionately liable per their assigned negligence percentage.
The Transportation Company
There may be times when the trucking company itself will also be held liable to a certain degree based on their instructions to the driver or failure to maintain trucks in a reasonable manner. Trucking companies should always be compliant will all transportation laws as well as ensuring that all truck inspections are conducted per DOT requirements.
A personal injury attorney can investigate the company for prior violations along with requesting company records through the court system when necessary in an effort to establish any reasonable breach of the duty of care, including truck maintenance records and operational logs.
Truck accidents can also be the result of improper loading of containers and flat beds. Overloading of both happens regularly at the point of shipment, and shifted loads are one of the most common causes of trucking accident, even when the driver’s actions are all consistent with road rules and regulations. The business that loaded the cargo could share some fault, if not bear total fault, in some circumstances.
There have been many accidents that have occurred as a result of a malfunctioning automotive parts. Defective equipment on any vehicle causing an accident can end in the parts manufacturer being assigned some liability, including a possible product liability claim. Product liability is a separate legal issue in many cases as well, and punitive damages could be available when an aggressive personal injury attorney examines the case thoroughly.
Container and Trailer Manufacturers
The containers and trailers used in transporting cargo can also be the cause of an accident even when the equipment is overloaded. In addition, customized trailers or containers are not uncommon, as some are actually designed for specific hauling jobs. They can be hand-fabricated by small manufacturing operations that may not use the best in production equipment or perform adequate work.
Protect Your Rights After a Trucking Accident
Never attempt handling a truck accident case personally. There could be multiple negligent parties who are liable for damages and proving the case could be challenging by yourself. The seasoned trial attorneys at The Law Offices of Tyler & Peery have over 130 years of combined experience fighting for the rights of injury victims in and out of court. Let us put our experience to work for you so that you can recover the compensation you need to heal.
Your first consultation is absolutely free. Contact The Law Offices of Tyler & Peery at (210) 774-6445 to discuss your trucking accident case with one of our personal injury attorneys.