Who is Liable in a Commercial Truck Accident?

determining truck accident liabilityIf you are injured in a commercial truck accident, determining who is at fault can be complex. Commercial trucking operations involve multiple parties, each responsible for different aspects which could make them liable in an accident.

It is important to accurately assess liability with a trucking accident to determine the correct parties to pursue compensation from for your injuries. Our truck accident attorneys in Sacramento have many years of experience determining liability and pursuing injury claims against responsible parties. 

Potential Liable Parties for Trucking Accidents

Since many parties are involved in a commercial trucking accident, liability is not as simple to determine as with typical vehicle accidents. The following parties may be held liable for the truck accident, depending on its cause:

Truck Driver

The driver of a commercial truck can be liable for an accident if his or her own negligence was the cause of the accident. The following are examples of negligent behaviors:

  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Driving while distracted
  • Texting while driving
  • Speeding
  • Failing to yield the right-of-way
  • Unsafely changing lanes
  • Running red lights or stop signs

Trucking Company

In California, commercial trucking employers may be held liable for truck accidents caused by driver negligence. If the driver’s negligence is unintentional and happened within the regular scope of his or her duties, the driver’s liability may transfer to the employer.

The trucking company may also be liable for truck accidents if the cause was related to the company’s obligations. These factors include:

  • Negligent hiring practices
  • Failing to complete inspections
  • Allowing or encouraging drivers to break hour and sleep laws
  • Overloading trailers or allowing overweight trucks
  • Failing to maintain equipment

Owner of the Truck

The trucking company may not own the vehicle involved in the accident.  A separate owner may own the truck and provide the vehicle for the trucking company. The truck owner may be responsible for the inspection and maintenance of the truck according to federal guidelines.

If a commercial truck owner fails to uphold his or her obligations and this leads to an accident, he or she could be held liable.

Truck Manufacturer

The manufacturer of the truck or the components of the commercial truck could be held liable for an accident if there is a defect with vehicle that caused the accident. Defects could cause tire blowouts, brake failure or other mechanical malfunctions that can lead to an accident. If defective parts are the cause of an accident, the manufacturer could be held liable.

Company that Owns or Loads the Cargo

A truck accident may be due to cargo issues, such as unsecured or unbalanced loads. Containers or equipment that are unsecured may fall off the trailer causing an accident, or unbalanced loads can cause a trailer to tip. In these cases, the company responsible for the cargo may be liable.

Contact a Skilled Truck Accident Lawyer Today

If you were injured in a collision involving a commercial truck, contact the Arnold Law Firm for the help you need to pursue a complex truck accident injury claim. We will evaluate your case and determine liability so you can pursue the compensation you deserve for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Request a free, no obligation consultation today. Our firm requires no upfront fees and payment is only due if we recover compensation in your case.

It is best to contact a lawyer as soon as possible. In California, truck accident victims have limited time to file a claim for compensation for any personal injuries sustained. These time limits are known as the statute of limitations – if you fail to file your claim within the statute of limitations, you can lose your ability to pursue compensation.

Call (916) 777-7777 or fill out our Free Case Evaluation form now.