A Lot of People May be Liable for Your Trucking Accident
Let’s say that you are in an accident with a large truck, sometimes called an 18-wheeler or a semi-truck. You know the truck caused the injury, so you assume, you sue the trucking company for compensation for your injuries.
But it turns out, it may not be that easy, because in a typical trucking accident, there are more people than you may think who can be liable for your trucking accident.
The Driver and the Trucking Company
Of course, the most obvious liable party is the driver of the truck and by extension, the driver’s employer (usually, the company that owns the truck). Truck drivers are liable when the accident is caused by driver error.
Drivers who drive too long and are too tired, who change lanes without looking, or who don’t handle their truck property—for example not navigating dangerous weather, or taking turns too quickly—all are typical examples of a truck driver error.
Trucking companies by law must limit the number of hours that drivers are on the road. Many do not, or try to get around the rules, in order to keep drivers on the road longer, in order to move products faster and make more money.
Repairs and Mechanical Problems
But often, problems with trucks come from mechanical errors. When someone driving a car blames their brakes or a bad steering wheel, we often look at that claim with suspicion. But trucks aren’t like our cars—they require a lot of routine maintenance and maintenance from professionals who are specifically trained to work on these large vehicles.
Truck tires, brakes, and engine systems, all require routine maintenance—not just maintenance when there is a problem.
That means that when a truck causes an accident, and it seems like there may have been a failure in the truck’s parts or mechanical systems, the trucking company and possibly, outside maintenance companies, may also be liable.
The Physics of Loading
The loading of a large truck isn’t as simple as shoving items in the back of the truck. There is a science to loading a truck properly, a science that involves physics. If the truck is improperly loaded, the truck can be imbalanced, leading to accidents, no matter what the driver of the truck does.
Even if properly loaded, the load must be secured to avoid shifting during routine driving maneuvers.
Trucking companies often will use or contract with outside companies who will advise or assist in the proper loading of trucks. Unfortunately, trucking companies, in a rush to move product (and make money), will often ignore these recommendations, or overload a truck, causing conditions ripe for an accident.
Other Liable Parties
Other parties may be liable as well. Phantom drivers who cause trucks to swerve to try to avoid an accident may be liable, as may government entities, if road construction or other obstacles make it difficult for trucks to avoid crashing.
Trucking accidents are serious. We can help. Contact the Las Vegas personal injury attorneys at Cameron Law today at 702-745-4545 for a free consultation.