Who is at Fault in a Commercial Truck Accident?

When a passenger vehicle and a big rig or semi-truck collide, victims may experience permanent disabilities preventing them from working and engaging in their day-to-day activities. Many commercial truck accident victims may think they are automatically entitled to compensation from the business that employed the truck driver at the time of the accident.

However, determining liability for a commercial truck accident requires the consideration of several factors. Truck drivers are not always at fault for accidents in which they are involved. Working with an experienced attorney can help you investigate the accident and gather evidence to determine which party or parties are at fault.

Determining the Truck Driver’s Fault

If you feel certain that you did not cause or contribute to the truck accident, an attorney can help you determine whether the semi-truck driver was at fault. One or more types of negligence cause most truck accidents. Negligence means the failure to use reasonable care under the circumstances to prevent injuries to others on the road. Some of the most common types of negligence include distracted driving, driving while intoxicated, poorly maintained roads, and failure to follow traffic safety laws.

Truck driver negligence is a leading cause of commercial accidents. Truck drivers are under tremendous pressure to meet deadlines as quickly as possible. They may fail to take breaks and rest while driving, as federal hours of service laws require. Truck drivers who fail to take necessary breaks can become fatigued and more likely to drive negligently. When a truck driver is speeding or driving recklessly, fatigued, or driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they can cause devastating accidents. Truck drivers may drive while distracted by technology, including texting, talking on the phone, or watching videos while driving.

Third-Party Liability

Truck drivers are not the only parties who can be held liable for a commercial truck accident. For example, if a mechanical failure contributed to the accident, the maintenance or the trucking company may be liable for the accident. Investigating whether there was a mechanical failure and whether the failure contributed to the accident is crucial for determining liability. In addition to the truck driver, the following third parties may also be liable for your injuries:

  • The individual or entity who owns the vehicle
  • The company that produced the semi-truck
  • The organization that handles repairs and upkeep on the rig
  • The company that loaded the cargo onto the truck

A personal injury attorney can help you investigate all the factors that can indicate which party or parties are at fault for your injuries. For example, we can investigate whether the cargo on the truck was loaded correctly and received regular and proper maintenance. Whether the driver was aware and following all relevant safety regulations and requirements. By determining the answers to these questions, liability can be determined. The first step is to identify which party or parties are at fault. The next step is to gather evidence proving that the defendant or defendants are legally responsible for your injuries and the resulting economic and non-economic damages.

Do I Have a Valid Personal Injury Commercial Truck Accident Claim?

If you believe the truck accident you were involved in was caused by driver negligence, mechanical failure, or other related factors, you may be wondering what steps you should take next. Immediately after the accident, it is crucial that you call 911 and request that a police officer come to the scene of the accident. You should also request a paramedic. When necessary, you should go to the hospital and receive medical treatment.

If you are not certain about the severity of your injuries and do not go to the emergency room, you must make an appointment with your doctor the next day after the accident. Tell your doctor all of your symptoms. If you develop more symptoms later on, you should re-visit your doctor and tell him or her of your new symptoms. Doing so will help you prove the full extent of your injuries. It is also crucial that you do not admit fault to the police officer or the insurance company. It's wise to contact an attorney before you provide a recorded statement to the insurance company.

Schedule a Free Case Evaluation with a Skilled Attorney

If you or your loved one have been injured in a commercial truck accident in Charlotte, north carolina, or the surrounding area, Arnold & Smith, PLLC is here to help. Contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC, to schedule a complimentary, no-obligation with a Charlotte truck accident attorney.

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