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Who Can Be Held Liable for Damages After a Truck Accident?

Who Is Liable for a Truck Accident?

Road accidents involving a truck can be significantly more devastating than those involving passenger vehicles and can cause severe injuries. There are various parties who could be held liable. Depending on the specific cause of the accident, it could be one or more of a few parties.

When the Truck Driver Is Liable

In many instances, the truck driver is the liable party after a truck accident. If the accident occurred as a result of driver negligence or recklessness such as speeding, distracted driving or drunk driving, the trucker may be held liable. Truck drivers are also responsible for ensuring that their cargo is properly stacked and bound. If improper maintenance was taken when cargo was loaded on the truck, the driver can be held at least partially responsible for an accident. While truck drivers often work long, arduous hours to get their cargo from one destination to another, they are required to take breaks. However, if they fail to do that and become fatigued and cause an accident, they might be responsible for any damages suffered by those injured as a result. An Allentown personal injury attorney can help you to assess who should be held liable for your injuries.

When the Trucking Company Is Liable

For some motor vehicle accidents involving a truck, the trucking company may be liable. Trucking companies are responsible for hiring and training drivers. If a driver was inadequately trained to handle a commercial truck, it can mean disaster on the road. Some trucking companies may simply employ drivers without providing adequate training as a means to cut corners. They may also force properly trained drivers to work overly long hours to the point where driver fatigue can occur, as can an accident. In some cases, the trucking company and the truck driver may both be held liable for an accident.

When the Truck Owner Is Liable

Sometimes, the truck’s owner is not the trucking company. A different company might own the truck and lease or rent it out to the trucking company for use. The owner of the truck may be liable for an accident if it failed to properly inspect it and maintain it to ensure that it was safe to travel the roads. All of the parts of a truck must be kept in optimal condition according to safety regulations. Those parts include the brakes, tires, fuel tank, steering wheel, horn, cargo compartment and electronic system. If any of those or other parts were faulty due to negligence on the truck owner’s part, they could be held liable for a truck accident.

When the Truck Manufacturer or Parts Manufacturer Is Liable

The manufacturer of the truck or manufacturer of the truck’s parts may be liable for an accident that occurs due to a defect in the truck or one of its parts. A defect in anything from the braking system to tires suffering blowouts can lead to a deadly crash. Manufacturers have the responsibility of ensuring that all the parts and the truck itself are safe and up to standards. Your Allentown personal injury attorney can determine when a manufacturer is liable for your injuries and other damages.

When the Cargo Loader, Shipper or Manufacturer Is Liable

Sometimes, the cargo is loaded by a party other than the truck driver. If the loader, shipper or manufacturer of the cargo was negligent in securing it on the truck, they might be liable for a truck accident. Boxes and other equipment must be properly secured or they can fall off the truck, onto the road, and cause serious accidents and injuries. Additionally, if the cargo on the truck is too heavy, it can lead to other problems. The truck could overturn due to the extra weight or a tire blowout could occur. If you were injured in a truck accident in Pennsylvania, contact the law office of Metzger & Kleiner at your earliest convenience to discuss your case with an Allentown personal injury attorney.

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