Who Is Responsible for Accidents with Commercial Trucks?

Are Truck Drivers Always at Fault?

Determining who is at fault for a trucking accident can be challenging. Many people wonder if the truck driver is always at fault. Because these cases can be incredibly complicated, it is important to remember that the truck driver is not necessarily liable for the accident. Even if the driver is at fault for the accident, you may be able to hold the commercial trucking company accountable.

How Is Fault Determined in a Truck Accident?

Before liability is determined, the cause of the accident must be identified. This is done by thoroughly investigating the accident itself and the circumstances that led to it. For example, was the accident caused by driver error, or did the truck's brakes malfunction? Was the driver overtired because of an unreasonable deadline set by the trucking company or impaired somehow?

Several things may be considered when determining the cause of a truck accident, including:

  • Witness testimony
  • Police reports
  • Pictures of the accident
  • Videos of the accident, such as from nearby surveillance cameras or dashboard cameras
  • Inspections of the vehicles involved
  • A review of trucking company logbooks
  • Maintenance records for the truck and other equipment

Once the cause has been determined, your Indianapolis truck accident lawyers can help you identify whether any laws have been broken and, ultimately, who should be held legally responsible for the accident.

Can You Hold the Commercial Trucking Company Responsible?

Many people are surprised to learn that they can hold a trucking company responsible for a truck accident. If a trucking company's negligence led to an accident, they might be held liable for the accident instead of the driver. When a trucking company is indirectly responsible for an accident, it is sometimes called "vicarious liability."

Trucking companies bear significant responsibility when it comes to preventing truck accidents. For example, it is the trucking company's responsibility to ensure that drivers are appropriately trained and qualified.

Common causes of commercial trucking accidents in which the trucking company may be liable can include:

  • An overtired driver due to overscheduling
  • A driver who did not receive adequate training from the trucking company
  • A trucking company hiring an unqualified or underqualified driver
  • Trucks that aren't loaded correctly or which are overweight
  • A trucking company that didn't inspect or maintain their trucks or other related equipment
  • A trucking company that company violates state or federal laws in some way that leads to an accident

What to Do If You Were Involved in a Truck Accident

Accidents involving commercial trucks can be devastating. In the aftermath of one of these accidents, it can be hard to know where to turn for help. However, those responsible for the accident must be held accountable. Therefore, if you have been in an accident involving a commercial truck, you should reach out to an experienced attorney right away. You or your loved ones may be entitled to vital compensation that you need to heal and move on with your life.

With the help of a lawyer, you may be able to seek compensation for:

  • Physical injuries
  • Medical costs associated with the accident
  • Rehabilitation costs
  • Lost wages and lost earning capacity
  • Costs related to a long-term or permanent disability
  • Emotional distress
  • Property damage

If you were involved in a trucking accident and don't know where to turn, reach out to Tabor Law Firm, LLP. No matter who is at fault in your accident, it is important that you work with an experienced attorney. Initial consultations are free, and you owe nothing until your case is settled.

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