When is the Trucking Company Liable for Accidents?

two people holding clipboards and talking, standing in front of several large trucks

Understanding Trucking Accident Liability

When pursuing a claim for an injury caused by a trucking accident, it may be confusing as to which party should be held liable for the damages caused. In many instances, multiple parties may be held liable for the circumstances involved in the crash.

It’s not uncommon for the liability to be shared between the driver and trucking company that hired them. Read on to learn more about why this may be the case.

How is the Trucking Company at Fault?

There are several ways in which the company may be held liable in truck accident claims. Often, these are circumstances that point to negligent practices perpetrated by the company and how they affected the driver's ability to safely do their job. Here are four common reasons:

Truck Maintenance

Having regular maintenance performed on large trucks can be time-consuming, and many companies may not be insistent about having it serviced regularly. However, a truck with mechanical issues can be a significant hazard to all other vehicles on the road and increase the probability of an accident. Because of this, the trucking company may be responsible for damages caused by a blown tire or other maintenance issues.

Improper Training

Most trucking companies will provide additional training to their drivers outside of that required to obtain a commercial driver's license (CDL). This is frequently part of the hiring process or employment is contingent upon completing this training. However, should a company not provide sufficient training for their drivers, this inexperience and lack of knowledge could contribute to a collision if they are unable to navigate in a way that could avoid crash hazards. If a driver does not receive the proper training from the trucking company, it may point to a negligent practice that can make them liable.

Hiring Practices

Trucking companies have a responsibility to adhere to safe hiring practices. If the company is not providing its own training (as mentioned previously) and hires an inexperienced driver with no significant training record, that may be a red flag. Additionally, these companies should be doing background checks on their drivers to ensure that they have a clean driving record. Should an individual with multiple driving citations or accidents be hired and this is not acknowledged, the company may assume responsibility for failing to look at the driver's credentials.

Enforcement of FMCSA Regulations

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has regulations in place designed to protect both commercial drivers and others on the road. These include rest breaks, hours of service regulations, and adjustments needed for inclement weather and certain times of the year. Enforcing these regulations is the responsibility of the trucking company.

Furthermore, most tractor-trailers built after 1990 are equipped with some kind of electronic "black box" that records when the vehicle is turned on and in motion. It may also record information related to speeding and acceleration, brake use, and distance driven. This information is crucial for trucking accident claims, which is why it may be difficult to obtain. A disabled black box or data that has been erased proving a driver's negligence could also point to a trucking company's own negligence in the incident.

Atlanta Truck Accident Attorney

When getting behind the wheel, you should not have to be concerned with whether or not you will be involved in a collision with a large truck. However, this is an unfortunately common occurrence.

You have a right to seek justice against a truck driver and company that causes you harm. Jamie Casino Injury Attorneys can help. Our experienced attorneys are unafraid to stand up to truck companies both in and out of the courtroom and are prepared to handle your case from start to finish. Schedule a consultation with our dream team by calling (912) 809-5335.

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