Who is liable after a truck wreck?

| Jul 16, 2020 | Trucking |

Wrecks involving commercial trucks are among the most catastrophic. Often, victims suffer severe injuries; many do not survive. They and their families can wind up paying for massive medical bills, lost wages and funeral expenses. On top of this, many people experience considerable emotional distress and other non-economic losses.

Because of the extent of damages people suffer in a truck wreck, many pursue compensation from the party responsible. So, who is responsible?

The truck driver

In many cases, a trucker is to blame for a collision. Just like any driver, he or she can make mistakes and dangerous decisions behind the wheel. A truck driver may be at fault if he or she:

  • Was driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Fell asleep
  • Was distracted by a phone or other device
  • Did not have a commercial driver’s license
  • Failed to inspect and maintain the truck properly
  • Did not follow traffic or trucking laws

The trucking company

Trucking companies that hire drivers and maintain vehicles may also be liable for a crash if they were negligent. As an example, the family of a Georgia woman is accusing a truck driver and a trucking company of causing a deadly wreck.

Reports note that the woman died after a tire came off a truck and crashed through her windshield. The family’s lawsuit argues that the driver and trucking company were both negligent for failing to inspect the truck. It also accuses the truck company of negligent hiring and retaining of an unsafe driver, among other counts.

Other parties

Other people who may be liable for a truck crash include:

  • Other motorists
  • Designers of defective truck parts
  • Manufacturers of defective truck parts
  • Sellers of defective truck parts
  • Parties who improperly load a truck

Determining who is responsible after a catastrophic truck crash can be difficult, particularly when multiple parties may be to blame. That said, identifying all responsible parties is crucial. It can call out and stop unsafe practices, and maximize the compensation victims and their families may collect.