During the pandemic, the world discovered how vital trucks and truck drivers are to the economy. That’s all well and good, but about 130,000 Americans suffer from truck accidents each year.
In the case of passenger car accidents, it’s generally the operator of the vehicle who is at fault. That may not necessarily be true if you’re involved in an accident with a truck. The truck driver may be at fault, but there may be many others who share the blame.
There are a lot of factors to consider when trying to determine who is at fault in a truck accident. A good team of truck accident lawyers, like the ones at sweetlaw.com, can help you make that determination. Here are three things you should know about truck accident liability.
- What Kind Of Evidence Should Be Gathered?
There are a lot of data points that should be viewed after a truck accident. A police report is essential, as it will contain all the salient points from both parties.
Like an airplane, each truck carries a “black box” that records the events of the accident. This data should be downloaded and viewed to get a clearer picture of what happened. This can be useful for accident reconstruction specialists, who will analyze what happened.
Each trucker also keeps activity logs, which detail their time behind the wheel and at rest. Witness accounts are also useful if they can be attained. You should also make sure to take photographs of the damage both to the truck and your own vehicle.
- Who Holds Truck Accident Liability?
The truck driver may be considered “at fault” because of negligence like speeding or distracted driving or fatigue. But other parties may also share the blame.
The trucking company is responsible for the trucks and drivers it puts on the road. Maintenance of the trucks and training of the drivers are essential parts of the job and if either one of those tasks was inadequate, they might be liable for the truck accident.
Certain trucking companies work as contractors, shipping cargo for other companies. If the originator of the cargo, the shipper, the loader, or the transporter are negligent, they might be at fault. If they didn’t follow all Federal or State laws or if the cargo shifts during transport, it’s possible that they must take the blame.
The folks who manufactured the truck may be liable for the accident if a part fails. Tire blowouts and brake failures are two common examples of this.
Government agencies and contractors are responsible for maintaining a safe highway. If there are potholes, a broken pavement, or a soft shoulder that may have caused the accident, they could be named in a truck accident lawsuit.
- What Happens If Multiple Parties Are Liable?
If it is determined that several parties are at fault for a truck accident, the best way to maximize one’s compensation for a truck accident is by filing multiple claims.
Trucking companies will attempt to offer the victim of an accident a settlement. While the settlement amount may seem generous, one may receive far less than they deserve. Always be sure the accident investigation is fully completed before accepting any settlement.
Drive With Caution
With any luck, you will never experience an accident with a truck or any other kind of vehicle. However, accidents happen and if you do, remember these three tips about truck accident liability.
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