Commercial Truck Accidents Have Many Potential Defendants
Posted in Truck accidents on October 15, 2022
Accidents involving commercial trucks can be devastating. These vehicles are significantly larger and heavier than passenger cars, and often result in severe injuries and fatalities. If you were involved in one of these collisions, you deserve to hold the at-fault party liable.
However, commercial truck accidents can have many potential defendants. Depending on the events leading up to your accident, you could name one or more parties in your insurance claim or lawsuit, including the driver, his or her employer, and a vehicle manufacturer.
The Truck Driver
In many cases, the driver of the commercial truck is the one who is at fault for the accident. Truck drivers have more responsibilities and duties than the average motorist. In addition to following Missouri traffic laws, truckers must also follow federal and state trucking regulations.
If a driver fails to uphold these responsibilities and causes an accident, he or she would be financially liable for the collision. There are many negligent actions that could cause a collision, such as the following:
- Driving over the posted speed limit
- Failure to yield the right of way
- Driving while distracted
- Making unsafe lane changes
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Driving while fatigued due to a failure to take required breaks
- Failure to drive carefully for the weather conditions
The Trucking Company
Trucking companies are also subject to strict trucking regulations. These entities must ensure that their drivers are properly trained and licensed; that their vehicles are in good condition; and that any hazards are mitigated as soon as possible.
If a company fails to uphold these responsibilities, it will be liable for any accidents that occur. Trucking companies are also liable for the actions of their employees, so if a truck driver causes an accident, you could also name his or her employer in your claim.
Below are a few examples of trucking company negligence:
- Failure to regularly inspect vehicles
- Failure to order repairs when necessary
- Hiring unlicensed or inexperienced drivers
- Failure to properly train drivers
- Forcing drivers to violate hours-of-service regulations
In some cases, truck accidents are caused by a mechanical defect within the vehicle itself. Manufacturers have a responsibility to ensure that their products are safe. If a manufacturer sells a defective vehicle part, it will be liable for any accidents that are caused by the defect.
Not all accidents involving commercial trucks are caused by the truck itself. In some cases, another motorist on the road is responsible for the collision. For example, one motorist may cut the truck driver off unexpectedly, causing the trucker to swerve and collide into your vehicle. In this situation, the third-party driver would be at fault for the collision.
Speak to a Kansas City Truck Accident Attorney
Being involved in a commercial truck accident can be a scary and unexpected experience. If you were injured by a truck driver, trucking company, or another liable party, you deserve fair compensation for your injuries. However, identifying the defendant can be a challenge without the knowledge and resources of an attorney.
A Kansas City truck accident lawyer can conduct a full investigation into your collision and help you identify your optimal path to financial recovery. As soon as possible after your truck accident, contact an attorney to begin the claims process.