Like any roadside accident, Trucking accidents are stressful events that can jeopardize an individual's well-being and impact their finances. While in most accidents, it may seem obvious to blame the driver behind the wheel for causing the accident, the parties that may be found at fault for the accident can be those not even behind the wheel. While this may sound counterintuitive, there are significant reasons behind these decisions, and we are here to break down the basics of determining liability in a trucking accident.
Are Drivers Ever Liable?
Let us clear one thing in that in cases where a driver is found to be distracted or negligent for any reason can be found solely responsible for the trucking accident. There are laws for distracted drivers that cause accidents due to using their phones while operating the vehicle, falling asleep behind the wheel, driving under the influence, and surprisingly enough, eating behind the wheel if it is found to have been a distracting task led the accident.
Proving negligence leads drivers in trucking accidents to be found liable for the accident as the fault can be established. If drivers are unsafe on the road, speeding, weaving, and creating a hazardous environment, they will likely be liable for the accident. However, while there are situations where drivers are responsible for the accident, there are cases in which the driver is merely partly responsible and not entirely at fault.
Every Case Is Unique
While drivers are behind the wheel, there are instances in which the driver may not be found entirely at fault, and in fact, the employer can be held liable for any damages claimed. If trucking companies are found to have employed unlicensed or undertrained drivers and ignore safety measures like not conducting background checks, the company can be deemed negligent.
Other negligent actions a company can be held liable for include overworking their drivers, leading to fatigue that contributes to the roadside accident or failing to conduct regular inspections and maintenance of their vehicles.
While determining the parties responsible can be an arduous process, it is essential to consult with an experienced lawyer to help build a good case. It is important to have police reports of the accident, possible eyewitness accounts, maintenance records of the truck involved in the accident, employment records, insurance information, and any recordings from the event that can paint a clearer picture of the accident.
There are nuances unique to each situation that can change how a claim can proceed. It is always essential to consult with your lawyer to determine the best course of action and avoid unnecessary legal complications or delays to help process any claims.
If you find yourself involved in a truck accident, whether you are the individual operating the truck or another party not driving a truck, it is crucial to know the compensation you may be able to seek. Defendants can hold the parties found liable for the accident to pay for medical bills, possible lost wages due to the accident, and even emotional injuries due to the traumatic experience of a roadside accident.
For employees of trucking companies, it is essential to seek legal counsel to help hold the company responsible if their negligence is found to be the cause of the accident. Financial security is critical, and allowing companies to shift the blame onto employees is unfair.
If you or someone you know needs help with building a case regarding a trucking accident, the attorneys at HMW Law are here to help. Call (216) 220-6776 today for a consultation.