Typically, drivers who operate large vehicles have the skills and experience needed to handle them. However, they are not entirely free from road accidents. Car crashes involving trucks tend to be more severe than smaller vehicles. In fact, most trailer accidents have more than one liable party.
In this situation, you need the legal guidance of a car accident lawyer to determine which parties to hold accountable for your injuries and vehicle damages. Here are three factors to help you determine liability.
Was the Truck Properly Maintained?
It's the responsibility of the trucking company to maintain all the vehicles in its fleet. Additionally, they shouldn't allow their vehicles to operate with faulty brakes, worn tires, suspension problems, or other mechanical issues. Therefore, the company's liability increases if an accident happens because of poor maintenance or failing to address a mechanical issue in time.
But some trucking companies lease their vehicles from a third party. Your lawyer will investigate all these issues at the initial stages of the case so as to determine the party to hold accountable.
Did the Company Follow the Right Process to Employ the Driver?
You should investigate the employer of the truck driver before commencing the case. For example, you might find that the driver is an employee of an agency that leases drivers to the trucking company. However, they could also be an independent contractor working for the company. They can be an employee of the freight company or someone operating their heavy vehicle independently.
Liability changes according to the employment situation. For example, the agency leasing out drivers could be liable for not training and vetting the driver thoroughly. You can also sue the transportation company for overworking their drivers and forcing them to stay on the road for long hours. On the other hand, the liability will rest solely on a driver who's working as an independent contractor.
Were There Issues With the Cargo Loading Process?
The people who load cargo onto trailers have to follow specific instructions for the sake of road safety. In addition, the federal motor carrier administration set rules and regulations regarding hauling different goods on the road. If your lawyer finds that the loading company did not follow these laws, they'll add them to the liability list.
Determining liability in a truck accident claim can be complicated. Therefore, you have to seek the legal expertise of a truck accident lawyer to find all liable parties. But it is advisable to consult a lawyer near you immediately after the accident.
Contact a law firm like Aldridge Teasdale PLLC for more information.