Posted on:Nov 01, 2021

Who May be Held Liable Following a Truck Crash

HomeBlogWho May be Held Liable Following a Truck Crash

Following a traumatic event like a truck crash, you’re sure to have a lot of questions. Of these questions, you might be wondering who can be held liable following a truck crash. Unlike a car accident, a truck crash may have additional conditions that make it hard to determine who’s liable. Sometimes it’s the other driver’s insurance company. 

Other times, however, it might be a third party like a private company or a local or state government. Today we’ll break down possible parties who might be responsible following a truck crash. 

What Parties Can be Held Responsible

In the case of a truck crash, there are four common parties who might be held liable: 

  • The driver: The driver themselves might be held liable depending upon the conditions surrounding the crash. If it can be proven that the driver acted in negligence–such as engaging and distracted driving or driving while under the influence–then they might be held liable. 
  • The trucking company: It’s the driver’s employer to ensure that they’re properly trained and that their truck is up to code. If there are elements surrounding the accident outside the driver’s control, then the private company might be held liable. Some examples include lack of maintenance on their trucks, hiring unqualified drivers, and violating the hours of service. 
  • The government: Sometimes the local, state or even federal government can be held liable for trucking accidents as well. In addition to cases where the worker is employed by the government, truck crashes can also happen due to issues like poor signage, erosion, poor road conditions, potholes, and missing guardrails. 
  • Auto parts manufacturers: While rare, it’s also possible for auto parts manufacturers to be held liable. For example, if faulty brakes that should have been recalled caused the accident then the auto parts manufacturer might be held liable. 

What Needs to be Proven to be Held Liable

In order for a party to be held liable, there need to be three elements. The first element is establishing that the other party owed the victim a duty of care. In the case of a truck accident, examples of a duty of care may include a truck driver obeying the rules of the road. Duty of care may also include an auto parts manufacturer releasing parts complying with strict guidelines or the government ensuring roads are drivable. 

The second element is whether or not the defendant breached their duty of care. If a truck driver engages in negligent behavior or their employer causes them to exhibit behavior that results in negligence, then this means they breached their duty of care. Lastly, there has to be a clear link that the defendant’s negligence resulted in the victim’s injuries. 

However, establishing a clear link between a victim’s injuries and their cause can be tricky in a truck crash. In general, insurance companies often try to play lowball with victims. Even in scenarios where they do offer compensation, often it doesn’t start to cover a person’s immediate and future expenses. When dealing with private companies and the government, this process can even be more difficult. 

To make the process easier, working with a truck crash lawyer is recommended.

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