Truck drivers are responsible for keeping everyone safe while they transport goods nationwide. However, sometimes they fall short of their obligations and make mistakes. Government agencies create regulations that truckers must follow. When truck drivers don’t operate their commercial motor vehicles according to law, the company they work for can be held liable for the damages that they caused. Trucks can weigh 6,000 to 8,000 pounds, which means that a truck accident can be especially deadly, resulting in large amounts of damages. This is why it is important that truck drivers follow the rules and do their best to keep others safe.
Who is Liable in a Truck Accident?
1. Poor Truck Maintenance
Every truck driver must regularly have their trucks inspected and maintained. The trucks and their equipment should be fully functioning before the drivers get on the road. Without proper maintenance, trucks can have malfunctioning electrical systems, brakes that fail, tire blow-outs, and other unexpected issues. If the truck driver did perform the proper inspection and maintenance but a mechanical issue caused an accident, then it is possible that the manufacturer is responsible for the accident.
2. Driving Over Maximum Hours of Service
According to the FMCSA, all truck drivers cannot exceed the maximum hours of service. This prevents them from driving while drowsy. Truck drivers that don’t get enough rest between transporting goods may wind up unable to stay alert while on the road. If it is found that the truck driver didn’t comply with FMCSA regulations, this can be why they are at fault for the accident.
3. Distracted Driving
Truck drivers sometimes have to multitask while driving long distances; however, it is illegal for them to use cell phones while driving. Distracted driving can include texting or checking social media while operating a commercial vehicle. A lawyer can determine if they are at fault by subpoenaing the truck driver’s cellphone company to find out whether they were on their phone right before the accident.
4. Traffic Violations
Truck drivers may be speeding, doing improper lane changes, and performing other traffic violations that could have been the cause of the truck accident. Comparing the damage done to your car and other property damage caused by the truck, it may also be possible that this can show how the accident occurred. Also, attorneys can review traffic camera footage and reveal if the truck driver broke any laws. Attorneys can also obtain black box data after a truck accident to show how fast the truck driver was going before the crash happened. All of this can show if the trucker is at fault.
5. Substance Abuse
While truck drivers are regularly tested for drug usage, sometimes they still break the rules. If police see that a truck driver is acting strangely, they may request a drug test. Your attorney can later retrieve the results to prove that they were at fault due to substance abuse. Sometimes, medication can also have a negative impact on a truck driver’s ability to stay awake. If a truck driver was operating a vehicle after taking prescription medicine, this may have impaired their ability to drive.
How Else is Fault Determined in A Truck Accident?
Truck accident attorneys can help prove that the truck driver caused the accident by using proven methods. Other reasons a truck driver or the company they work for maybe at fault include overloaded trailers and reckless driving. With enough evidence, a lawyer can prove that you are owed compensation and help you obtain a settlement.