Commercial trucks like semis and tractor-trailers are often part of a large trucking company that manages thousands of drivers across the country. Truck companies can be just as liable for causing a truck accident as the drivers they employ, and you may find yourself filing a claim against the company when seeking damages.
Determining When the Truck Company is Liable
It’s not always the truck driver’s fault in a trucking accident. There are many factors such as vehicle maintenance, cargo hazards and federal trucking regulations that the trucking company is responsible for monitoring. When a trucking company is negligent in managing its fleet, it may be liable for any damages caused by its trucks or employees when they are in an accident with another party.
If a trucking company failed to perform routine maintenance and make necessary repairs to the vehicle, and that truck causes an accident due to a mechanical issue, the company may be liable for vehicle maintenance negligence. Likewise, failure to assess cargo hazards or allowing an unlicensed driver to carry hazardous cargo to do so also can be a case of negligence.
Trucking companies are liable for any violations of the federal regulations for driving times. They must ensure that drivers are keeping an accurate logbook (record of duty) and staying within the limits for on-duty driving time. If the company fails to verify its drivers’ hours or if it demands a driver violate the laws, the company may become liable for any damages caused by a drowsy driver in their fleet.
But proving truck company negligence may not be necessary to hold it liable. Trucking companies may be vicariously liable for accidents that their employees cause. So establishing the truck driver’s fault may allow victims to file a claim against the employer, in this case, the trucking company.
Types of Trucking Companies to Hold Liable
There may be many companies involved in your trucking accident claim because each truck may be managed by several parties. For example, a single semi-truck may have a cab owned by one company connected to a trailer from another company filled with cargo from a third company. In addition to the companies that own the various components of the truck, a fourth company may be involved if the trucker was employed by a separate shipping company.
The following companies potentially may hold liability for your damages in a truck accident:
- owners of the truck components;
- suppliers of cargo;
- driver staffing companies;
- truck maintenance companies; and
- shipping and logistics companies.
To understand which companies may be liable for your truck accident, you must examine the cause of the accident. In many cases, an accident reconstructionist may be necessary to recreate the factors that led to the crash and determine who was at fault. Other evidence may be necessary as well.
Hold Trucking Companies Liable for Their & Their Drivers’ Negligence
When you file a claim against a trucking company, you may do so against a party with its own legal team that handles these cases on a regular basis. It may argue that the driver was not employed directly by a company; therefore, the company is not liable.
Attorney David Bressman has heard a number of these excuses and helps victims of negligence in Gahanna and nearby areas overcome them to hold trucking companies liable for injuries and losses. Contact us today for a free consultation and learn what kind of legal recourse you have when a large commercial truck causes a serious accident: (877) 538-1116.