Skip to content

Who Is Liable for My Injuries After a Truck Accident?

Truck accidents tend to result in especially severe injuries due to the massive size and weight of these commercial vehicles. If you’ve been hurt in a collision with a truck, you probably have a lot of questions about who is at fault and who will pay for your medical treatment, lost income, pain and suffering. This article will provide an in-depth overview of liability after a truck crash so you can better understand your options for pursuing fair compensation.

Who’s At Fault for My Truck Accident?

When a passenger vehicle collides with a large truck, the injured victim may wonder who was responsible. Truck drivers are expected to operate their vehicles safely, but other motorists or external factors can also contribute to these crashes. Common causes include:

  • Truck driver error – The trucker may have been distracted, fatigued, impaired, speeding, or otherwise driving recklessly when the crash occurred. This is one of the most frequent causes of truck collisions.
  • Company negligence – The trucking company may have inadequately trained the driver, failed to maintain the vehicle properly, overloaded the truck beyond legal limits, or required the driver to work too many hours in violation of regulations. Systemic safety issues like these directly lead to driver fatigue and errors.
  • Other driver error – The actions of other drivers on the road can also lead to truck crashes, such as dangerous lane changes, tailgating, or distracted driving around a truck. Passenger motorists often misjudge the space and stopping distance required for sharing the road safely with a truck.
  • Poor road conditions – Hazards like construction zones, debris, blind spots, or inclement weather may have made driving unsafe for both the truck and other vehicles.
  • Defective truck parts – Brake failure, defective tires, steering issues, or other mechanical problems can cause a truck to lose control. Trucks require vigilant maintenance to operate safely on the road.
  • Negligent maintenance – If the truck or its parts were not properly inspected and maintained, it may have contributed to the crash. Lack of maintenance can lead to catastrophic tire blowouts, brake failure, and other defects.

In many truck collisions, multiple factors converge to cause the accident. Thorough crash investigations and evidence gathering can help establish each party’s specific role in the incident. An experienced attorney knows how to build a strong liability case by identifying every source of negligence.

Determining Fault in Truck Accidents

To receive full compensation after a truck accident injury, the victim must prove negligence through liability. This involves showing that the at-fault party failed to act with reasonable care, directly causing foreseeable injuries. Different negligent parties who may share fault include:

Truck Driver Liability

Truck drivers must adhere to extensive Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations as well as state traffic laws. Violating these rules constitutes negligence per se. For example, truckers who drive while fatigued, distracted, speeding, or impaired may bear primary liability if they cause an accident. Other negligent actions include:

  • Following too closely
  • Unsafe lane changes or turns
  • Failing to yield right of way
  • Driving aggressively or erratically
  • Failing to properly brake
  • Inadequate scanning and awareness of surroundings

The injured plaintiff’s attorney must thoroughly investigate the truck driver’s actions leading up to the crash. Reviewing driver logs, communications, and onboard tracking data can help prove negligence.

If the trucker works for a company, their negligence may be imputed to their employer through vicarious liability laws. Companies are responsible for controlling their drivers’ behavior.

Trucking Company Liability

The trucking company may share liability if their policies, training, or failures to act contributed to the crash. For example:

  • Inadequate driver screening, training and supervision
  • Pressuring drivers to meet unrealistic delivery schedules
  • Allowing fatigued driving in violation of federal hours of service regulations
  • Poor vehicle maintenance and inadequate safety inspections
  • Overloaded trucks exceeding weight limits
  • Improper load securement
  • Hiring unqualified or negligent drivers
  • Failing to investigate drivers’ backgrounds and driving histories

Companies are expected to implement and enforce strong safety programs. If systemic negligence contributed to the crash injuries, the trucking company can and should be held financially accountable.

Liability of Other Drivers

Other motorists’ actions like distracted or reckless driving around a truck can also cause collisions. If a third-party driver caused the crash, they may be considered partially liable along with the truck driver and trucking company. Their insurance carrier may have to contribute to the settlement.

Government Liability

In some cases, a government entity may share liability, such as when:

  • Unsafe road designs or lack of proper signage contributed to the crash
  • Construction zones created a dangerous condition
  • There was a lack of timely response after complaints of unsafe driving against a commercial trucker

Pursuing damages from a government body requires in-depth legal expertise. A Los Angeles truck accident attorney can decide if this avenue is viable or not.

Product Liability

Defective truck parts like faulty brakes, defective tires, or mechanical defects can lead to catastrophic loss of control. If a defective product caused or contributed to the crash injuries, the manufacturer and potentially other parties in the supply chain may be held liable through product liability laws.

Multiple Defendants

Since truck crashes often have multiple causes, there may be several negligent defendants. An experienced Los Angeles truck accident lawyer can help identify all liable parties in a collision and hold them fully accountable. Damages may be apportioned based on the percentage of fault the evidence reveals. This allows the injured plaintiff to receive the maximum compensation they deserve.

Consult a Truck Accident Attorney for Your Claim

After suffering catastrophic injuries in a truck collision, you need an assertive advocate on your side. An experienced truck accident lawyer can protect your rights by building a strong negligence case against all responsible parties. They have the resources and expertise to reconstruct the crash, prove liability, and overcome delay tactics by insurance carriers seeking to minimize payouts. Your attorney will fight for full compensation so you can focus on healing and getting your life back on track after the trauma of a truck crash.

To explore your options for maximum recovery, contact the dedicated truck accident attorneys at Karns & Karns Personal Injury and Accident Attorneys today at 800-4THE-WIN for a free consultation.

Recent Blogs

Get Your Free Consultation