Any kind of accident involving a big rig can be tragic. The sheer size of the truck, the weight of its load and the speed at which the truck was traveling can all make for a pretty catastrophic event. In the aftermath of the wreck, victims often don’t know who is at fault for the accident — or where they can turn for compensation.
In reality, several different parties can be at fault when a semi causes an accident, including:
- The driver
Most commercial drivers operate their vehicles carefully and obey the rules of the road. Occasionally, however, one or more of the following issues will come into play:
- Medical problems
- Alcohol and drug use
- The failure to maintain a safe speed
- The failure to obey traffic laws
- Poor driving skills
Many truck accidents can be tied back to simple human error, especially when a driver is rushed.
- The trucking company
Trucking companies are generally liable for the mistakes of their employees, and trucking companies have more resources to pay the compensation victims need. Trucking companies are often behind accidents when they:
- Don’t perform required safety tests on the vehicle
- Push drivers to violate Hours of Service (HoS) rules
- Fail to monitor drivers for drug or alcohol problems
- Hire unqualified drivers or drivers with poor records
- Fail to properly train new drivers
Many trucking companies try hard to limit their liability — or avoid it altogether — after an accident.
- The loading company
Truckers aren’t the only people involved in commercial vehicle safety. Loading companies can be at-fault for a wreck when:
- A load is not safely secured
- A load is packed incorrectly
When loads shift while a truck is in motion, accidents often happen.
- The truck’s mechanic or parts supplier
Many commercial trucks get involved in accidents because some part of the vehicle fails at a critical moment. Service companies that fail to replace worn out parts on a truck and still certify that the truck is operational can be held responsible for their mistakes. Similarly, if a defective part causes a wreck, the manufacturer or supplier can be held liable.
If your loved one was hurt in a truck accident, talk to an attorney about the possibilities.