Accidents with commercial trucks can be physically and financially devastating. They often lead to serious injuries or fatalities and significant property damage. The risk is even greater if the semi-truck is carrying dangerous chemicals or materials. If you or someone you love has been injured in a truck accident, your attorney might try to recover damages from one of these responsible parties.
- Truck Driver
In many cases, the obvious responsible party is the truck driver. Commercial drivers are prone to the same mistakes and errors as personal drivers—the main difference is that their mistakes often cause much more damage. If the driver performed an unsafe lane change, was under the influence while driving, engaged in distracted driving, or failed to adhere to posted signs, they could be partially or fully responsible for an accident.
- Driver’s Employer
If the trucking company failed to exercise proper precautions when hiring drivers or forced drivers to work in unsafe conditions, they could be held liable for damage caused in an accident. Despite state and federal laws, some trucking companies pressure drivers to drive unsafe hours, take fewer breaks, or continue driving in dangerous weather conditions. Companies that have difficulty keeping drivers may fail to do proper background and safety checks on potential hires. This can lead to drivers with spotty driving records ending up behind the wheel of a tractor-trailer.
In addition, the FMCSA has strict maintenance and inspection requirements for trucking companies that own their own vehicles. If a company does not perform routine inspections or doesn’t follow the recommended maintenance schedule, they may be liable if the equipment fails and causes a crash.
- Cargo Companies
Cargo companies rely on truck drivers and trucking companies to get products from point A to point B. In the process, they may intentionally or unintentionally eschew safety standards. A cargo company may overload a truck or improperly load cargo to get more out of each trip and cut down on costs. An unbalanced load can make a truck more likely to tip over and cause a crash.
- Manufacturer of the Vehicle or Vehicle Components
Defective parts or vehicles are a common cause of truck accidents. Poorly designed parts or mechanical issues due to design flaws can cause a manufacturer to be liable for damages in a truck crash. Your attorney may pull maintenance logs, product recalls, and other documentation to find out if faulty equipment is responsible for your crash.
If you’re trying to recoup your damages from a truck crash, you need a lawyer who’s dedicated to representing your best interests. Take the first step now and contact Feldman Legal Group at 813-694-5784.