Trucking Accident Liability – Finding out who is at fault in a trucking accident is not as easy as finding who may be at fault in a simple traffic accident. Because trucking accidents have many different laws associated with them, everything needs to be reviewed to determine what caused the accident and who is at fault. Having knowledge of the trucking industry is very important when reviewing the facts of a trucking case.
Today’s guest blog is by Attorney Percey Martinez
Trucking Accident Liability
Understanding the relationships between the driver, company, and other entities who are connected to the truck, and why these accidents happen, are crucial in finding out if you have a valid claim or not.
Data on Truck Accidents
Vehicles do not have the same protections that big trucks do, which can have disastrous effects on a vehicle that collides with a truck.
Here are some truck accident statistics:
- There were 3,852 deaths in 2015 from large truck collisions.
- From the 3,852 deaths, 16% were truck drivers, 69% were passengers and drivers of vehicles, and 15% were bike riders and pedestrians.
- 22% more deaths in 2015 than in 2009 75% of deaths were caused by a tractor-trailer, while 25% were caused by a single-unit.
- There were 2,646 large truck crashes, 19,897 other crashes, amounting to 22,543 crashes in the year 2015.
- Truck drivers traveled a total of 279,132 million miles in 2014.
Truck Accident Laws
There are laws and regulations that make up the standards that a truck driver must abide by. These laws and regulations can help determine who was at fault in the event of an accident. These standards are regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the U.S Department of Transportation. In addition, each state may have their own trucking regulations as well.
Who Is Responsible?
The liability for trucking accidents that result in either injuries or death can include many different parties.
Some of those parties include:
- The truck leasing company.
- The manufacturer of the equipment within the truck.
- The cargo loader.
- The truck’s owner.
- The driver.
Trucking Accident Liability
These people and companies will often disagree about who will be responsible for paying all the damages. But, the facts and evidence will ultimately prove who is liable for the accident.
Are the Parties involved Able to Avoid Being Held Responsible?
In the past, companies would distance themselves from the drivers in order to limit their liability. They would rent the truck and all its equipment and hire the drivers as independent contractors; this way, the trucking company could show they were not liable for any of the driver’s mistakes, equipment maintenance or failure of the truck.
Because of the federal laws and regulations in place today, many of these loopholes have been closed. Companies who have a trucking permit are now responsible for any accidents where the name of the company is seen on the truck. The truck driver being an independent contractor or the equipment being leased, has no effect on liability. They can still be held liable if is determined they were the ones who were negligent. Therefore, hiring a personal injury lawyer at the Percy Martinez law office is important.