Traffic accidents occur in many different ways and every type of traffic crash case is unique. When people think about truck accidents, they might think that they would be handled similarly to car accident cases. But legally speaking, truck accidents involve some very different challenges. Not only do truck accidents tend to involve more fatalities, more severe injuries, and greater amounts of property damage, but legal liability can be much more complicated.
While regular car accident cases often involve disputes over who was at fault for the accident, they very commonly only involve one other party: the driver of the other car. But in truck accident cases, the truck driver is just one party who could potentially be liable.
Employment Status & Truck Accident Liability
When determining liability for a truck accident, one key question is whether or not the driver was an employee of a trucking company or was working as an independent contractor. If the truck driver was an employee of a trucking company and was acting within the scope of their job at the time of the crash, the trucking company might be legally liable for the accident. But if the driver was an independent contractor, it’s less likely that the company they were working for would be liable.
However, it’s important to note that even if a truck driver is an employee of a trucking company, it doesn’t automatically mean the company is liable for an accident. If the driver was acting outside the scope of their job at the time of the accident or caused the accident by doing something willfully negligent, such as drinking on the job, then the trucking company likely wouldn’t be liable for the accident.
The Actions of Trucking Companies
Trucking companies very commonly prioritize profits and productivity over safety, so it’s crucial to look into the company’s actions leading up to the accident. Were they pressuring drivers to ignore mandated rest times? Do they have a history of hiring inexperienced drivers or drivers with records of dangerous behavior on the road? These types of actions make it more likely that a trucking company would be liable for an accident.
Who Else Could be Liable for a Truck Accident?
Liability for truck accidents can also depend on what, exactly, caused the accident. For example, let’s say a truck accident was caused by a mechanical problem with the truck. In that case, liability could fall on the person/company responsible for maintaining the truck. This might be a trucking company, but since some trucking companies use trucks that are maintained by another party, liability could fall on that other party. If the problem with the truck was caused by a defective component, liability could fall on the manufacturer of that component. Another example would be if a truck accident was caused by a truck’s cargo being loaded improperly. In that situation, the party that loaded the truck may be held liable.
Contact a Truck Accident Lawyer
When making a truck accident claim, it’s very important to make sure it’s being made against the correct party. But after a truck accident, the last thing you need to deal with is the complicated process of figuring out who exactly is liable for your accident. Leave it to the truck accident lawyers of The Wallace Firm.
Our Los Angeles truck accident lawyers are experienced in helping people just like you and will do all of the necessary research to figure out who needs to be held responsible for your injuries.
Trucking companies have big insurance companies to protect them. Why shouldn’t you have someone working to protect you? Contact The Wallace Firm for help with your case.