It is only natural to think that if you were in an accident with a truck due to no fault of your own that it is probably the truck driver’s fault. However, the reason those truck accidents are considered more complex than your standard auto accident is typically because there are more players involved in the process. It is not just deciding fault between you and the truck driver, but it could be that the manufacturer of the truck and even the owner of the trucking company can shoulder some of that fault as well.
When is an Accident the Trucking Company’s Fault?
There are a number of different scenarios where the trucking company can be held at fault. Unfortunately, where the fault of a truck driver is relatively clear in most accidents, situations in which the trucking company can be held liable are a little more vague. If any of the following was the cause of the accident, you may be able to hold the company that employed the driver at fault for your substantial damages.
- The truck driver was not provided proper training by their company for the job.
- The company failed to confirm proper licensing for the truck driver they employed.
- The trucking company was pressuring their driver to work too many hours without proper rest despite worker regulations.
- The truck company failed to enforce rules and safety regulations.
- The trucking company was in charge of maintenance of the rig and failed to keep them properly maintained and up to standards.
The truth of the matter is that proving this fault can be rather difficult. Accident victims may find that a trucking company is more likely to try and place the blame on a single employee rather than shoulder it themselves. It used to be that trucking companies could avoid liability completely by not owning or leasing trucks to drivers and labeling all drivers as independent contractors. If the driver is not technically an employee and they do not have any dominion over the truck, they couldn’t be held liable. Luckily, federal laws have put an end to that loophole.
The good news is that gathering evidence that places fault on the trucking company is often the same process that is done to prove the singular truck driver is at fault. In fact, fault on the part of the company may even show up when investigating the driver. Trucking logs, maintenance reports, and black boxes can all go towards proving a trucking company was at fault for an accident. By going after the company rather than a single driver, you are also working towards making the roads safer for others as well. You can be sure that a trucking company was not just being lax with one driver, but likely all their drivers as well.
As commercial trucks can outweigh your average car by almost three times as much, trucking accidents can have devastating results. Not only does it mean substantial damage to your vehicle, but it is likely that you will not walk away from a truck accident without injury. However, it is important to remember that it will not always be the fault of the driver. For you to get the compensation that you need for your injuries and vehicle damage, you need to have a personal injury lawyer that is willing to place the fault where it really lies. If you have been in a trucking accident in the Los Angeles area, contact us today so the skilled professionals at the Law Office of Freeman & Freeman can go over the unique details of your case.