Essential Steps to Protect Your Business After a Truck Accident

Who May Be Held Liable for a Truck Accident?

Truck accidents are unfortunately very common in the United States and have the potential to cause grave injuries and even death. According to a study conducted by the National Safety Council (NSC), there were 5,837 large trucks involved in fatal crashes and 5,936 deaths in 2022.

Thus, the danger of truck accidents should not be underestimated. Determining who is liable for a truck accident becomes very complex, as there are several different parties who may be responsible for the accident occurring. In this article, we will explore some parties who may be held liable.

Truck Driver

Perhaps, the most commonly thought of party who is responsible for a truck accident would be the truck driver. A truck driver may have caused a truck accident due to negligent behaviors such as speeding, driving while intoxicated, drunk driving, distracted driving, or reckless driving.

In addition, truck drivers must follow both state-specific laws and federal regulations imposed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. This includes but is not limited to hours-of-service regulations, commercial driver’s license (CDL) requirements, proper inspection and maintenance, and more. 

Truck Manufacturer

Another party that may be held responsible for a truck accident is the truck manufacturer. If a truck manufacturer knowingly releases defective or dangerous products that pose a threat to the safety of the truck and truck driver, they may be held liable.

In order for a truck manufacturer to be held responsible, it must be proven that the defective or recalled products directly caused the accident. In some cases, an equipment or parts manufacturer may also be held responsible.

Trucking Company 

The trucking company that has employed the truck driver and allowed them to operate the truck may also be held liable for a truck accident for a couple of reasons. Three main reasons that a trucking company may be at fault are negligent hiring practices, insufficient training, or failure to enforce and conduct regular inspections and maintenance.

For example, if a trucking company hires an inexperienced individual who does not have a commercial driver’s license, they may be liable for the accident due to the negligence they demonstrated when hiring the individual.

Furthermore, trucking companies have to ensure that their employees are driving safely, abiding by state and federal laws, and not imposing unreasonable expectations that threaten the safety of drivers.

Cargo Loaders

One last party who may be held liable for a truck accident is cargo loaders. Cargo loaders are responsible for safely securing the cargo that the truck will be carrying to their destination.

Improper loading of cargo can be incredibly dangerous as unbalanced or overloaded trucks may lead to instability, difficult steering, as well as falling cargo. Furthermore, if cargo loaders are not precise in their job, the chance for rollover accidents is incredibly common.

Determining Liability

The aforementioned parties do not encompass the totality of parties who may be held liable for a truck accident, thus showing how complex and convoluted determining liability in a truck accident can be.

This is why it is vital that you have an experienced Seattle truck accident lawyer on your side to help ensure that liability is rightfully determined, that your rights are protected, and that you receive maximum compensation for any injuries you sustained. 


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