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Understanding Who Can Be Liable in Commercial Truck Accidents

Who Can Be Liable for a Commercial Truck Accident?

There are roughly 115,000 large truck and bus injury crashes every year in the U.S. Establishing liability is essential in any personal injury case, and truck accident liability is notoriously complex. An experienced truck accident lawyer can help by investigating an accident to determine who may be liable; this may be the truck driver, the trucking company, and several other parties.

Multiple Parties Can Be Legally Responsible for an Accident

Several parties can potentially be held legally responsible when a commercial truck accident occurs. Of course, it could be the driver. Perhaps they were under the influence, driving while fatigued, or simply distracted. Fault could also lie with the manufacturer of the truck or components like brakes or tires. It could even be the trucking company if it overworked its drivers with unrealistic deadlines and overly long hours. Even the owners of the truck may be liable if they failed to perform adequate safety inspections. There truly are multiple parties that can be legally responsible for an accident. This is why it’s crucial to work with a Philadelphia truck accident lawyer to investigate your accident.

The Truck Driver

There are many reasons as to why the truck driver can be liable when an accident occurs. Laws may have been broken by the driver, or maybe they were distracted. Perhaps they were drunk or under the influence. If this was the case, they will likely be held solely accountable for any damages caused. There are also many other factors, such as health conditions, driving overnight, or driving for too long and becoming drowsy. As you can imagine, it will frequently be the driver of the truck who is held solely responsible for any injury or property damage when an accident occurs.

The Trucking Company

The company that employed the driver may be held as a responsible party. While this can be difficult to prove without the help of a truck accident lawyer or accident investigation, some issues could make the trucking company responsible. Examples of negligence include cutting corners regarding safety, incomplete or inadequately performed inspections, or the driver being pushed too far with unrealistic deadlines or expectations. In some cases, both the truck driver and the company behind them will share some of the accident liability. Your Philadelphia truck accident lawyer can help you uncover valuable evidence if this is the case for your accident.

The Truck’s Owner

Quite often, the trucking company will not actually be the owners of the truck itself. Instead, the company leases it and provides it for the trucker. In some circumstances, the actual truck owner could be liable. It may come down to the owner to inspect the vehicle and ensure that everything is maintained and running properly. There are federal regulations that govern how trucks should be inspected and maintained, and if these guidelines have not been followed, then the truck owner may be deemed liable for any damages or injuries caused.

The Cargo Loaders

Sometimes, the accident may be caused by the cargo on the truck or how it was loaded. If it was not properly inspected or secured, then the cargo could start falling off or cause an imbalance that leads to a rollover accident. In such cases, the cargo loaders can be held responsible.

The Manufacturer

If an accident occurs as a result of a defect in the way that the truck or its components have been built, liability may fall to the applicable manufacturers. Mechanical failures, tire blowouts, or faulty brakes can all be a result of a poorly built truck or poorly built components. In a situation where unsafe parts lead to an accident, the manufacturers will often be held responsible and be made to pay damages to the victims.

Get the Legal Assistance You Need

Have you been seriously injured in a commercial truck accident in Pennsylvania? A Philadelphia truck accident lawyer can help you better understand truck accident liability and investigate your case to establish who's at fault. Contact Metzger & Kleiner today to schedule a consultation. You can call our office in Philadelphia at (215) 567-6616.

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