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Four Liable Parties in Trucking Accidents

close up of a truck driver holding the steering wheel with both hands

Who Can Be Held Accountable?

Trucking accidents are often complicated, and determining who is responsible for damages can be challenging. In most of these cases, there are generally four parties who can potentially be held liable: the truck driver, the trucking company, the truck manufacturer, and the loading dock workers. This blog post will examine these four liable parties and explore the various reasons why they may assume responsibility in a truck accident.

1. Truck Driver

The truck driver is often the first party considered when trying to assign liability in a trucking accident. Drivers must adhere to strict safety regulations, including rules about driving hours, distractions, and following the proper maintenance schedules for their trucks. If a driver is found to be negligent in any of these areas, they could be held accountable for the accident.

For example, if a driver was speeding, driving while fatigued, or under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the crash, they could be considered liable for any resulting damages. Additionally, if a driver failed to yield to the right of way or ignored traffic signals, they may also bear responsibility for the accident.

2. Trucking Company

The trucking company could also be held liable in a trucking accident, particularly if they were negligent in their hiring, training, or maintenance practices. It is the company's responsibility to ensure its drivers are properly trained, licensed, and have a clean driving record. If a company hires a driver with a known history of reckless behavior or fails to adequately train them, they could be held accountable for any accidents that occur as a result.

Furthermore, trucking companies have a responsibility to maintain their fleet of vehicles and ensure they are safe for the road. If it is determined that poor maintenance contributed to the accident, the trucking company may be found liable.

3. Truck Manufacturer

In some cases, a defect in the truck itself or its components may have contributed to the accident. If this is the case, the truck's manufacturer could potentially be held liable for damages. Truck manufacturers have a duty to ensure that their products are safe for use and have been thoroughly tested before entering the market.

For example, a defect in the braking system, tire design, or even software controlling the truck's operations could potentially result in a catastrophic accident. When a defect is found to be the cause of an accident, the manufacturer may be held accountable under the theory of product liability.

4. Loading Dock Workers

Finally, loading dock workers may also bear responsibility in a trucking accident, particularly if they failed to adhere to safety regulations when loading and securing cargo. Improperly loaded cargo can shift during transit, leading to an unbalanced truck and increasing the risk of a rollover accident.

Additionally, loading dock workers must ensure that the cargo is adequately secured using the proper restraints, as loose cargo can fall off the truck and cause an accident. If it is determined that the loading dock workers' negligence contributed to the accident, they could be held liable for any resulting damages.

Chico Truck Accident Attorneys

The devastating impacts of trucking accidents should not be overlooked, especially when they’ve caused you or your loved ones significant harm. And unfortunately, far too many people experience these incidents every year. When you’ve been harmed by a negligent truck driver or company, Law Offices of Larry S. Buckley is here to help in your time of need by helping you pursue full and fair compensation through a truck accident claim. Schedule a free consultation to discuss your options by calling (530) 413-0245.