Commercial Truck Accident Cases: Who Can Be Held Liable?
Unlike vehicle accidents, commercial truck accident cases are often more complex. The complexity of a truck accident case stems from the rules and regulations guiding commercial trucks, drivers, and owners. Added to this, the size of a commercial truck makes the consequences of a truck accident much higher.
A commercial truck often weighs an average of 80,000 pounds and is about 60 feet or more in length. This statistic dwarfs the weight and size of a car or motorcycle. The size and weight difference in a truck accident makes the risk and potential danger or serious injuries much more fatal in the event of an accident, and death tolls are higher.
With victims being exposed to high risk of suffering disabling, debilitating, lifelong, and life-threatening injuries, they deserve, more than ever to hold the liable parties accountable.
Similar to all cases that border on negligence, victims of truck accidents can seek the help of a personal injury attorney to file compensation claims for the damages suffered due to the accident. Experienced Oklahoma truck accident attorneys will assist you in recovering economic and non-economic damages suffered and compensation for your injuries.
However, the question remains, what party or parties can be held liable for the truck accident?
Liability in A Commercial Truck Accident Case
Unlike litigating or determining liability in a simple car accident, which typically involves only the drivers; determining liable in a commercial truck accident is far more difficult. Understanding liability in a commercial truck accident case can be complex to navigate. A higher proportion of commercial truck accident cases are caused principally by the following parties who are often in violation of the guidelines set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
Truck drivers are bound by the rules and regulations that all drivers are obligated to follow on the road; as well as certain other special rules that have been designed to improve safety on the road. Common rules like obeying speed limits hold for commercial truck drivers as well as the guidelines set by the FMCSA.
The unique requirements for truck drivers is that they are held to additional standards set by the FMCSA. The FMCSA guidelines establish rest and time off requirements, special driving test and medical examination clearance, as well as a clean driving record amongst others. Often the negligence by commercial truck drivers; establishing liability for the commercial truck driver comes from failure to meet the additional standards or requirements of the FMCSA, which is part of why it is so important to retain an experienced personal injury attorney to seek compensation for your claim.
Hundreds of commercial companies across the United States rely on commercial trucks to get their goods from one location to another. Whether a local transfer, regional or nationwide transfer, these companies are required to follow certain guidelines by the FMCSA. Such guidelines determine the weight limits, best practices for loading and unloading cargo, employee testing and background checks, amongst others. Failure to follow these rules often leads to commercial truck accidents on the roads. However, these guidelines often run against the interests and profits of commercial truck companies, because it delays delivers and decreases the number of products a company can move at one time, i.e. commercial truck weight restrictions.
In the commercial trucking business, there are a lot of active parties including the owners of commercial trucks. These owners are separate from drivers or companies hiring the truck for their transportation needs. When the driver and commercial company hold up to their end of the bargain but the truck owners fail to properly maintain the vehicles, this creates yet another avenue for fatal accidents to occur on the roads. Owners are tasked with the responsibility to keep the trucks road-worthy, keep records of all inspections, repairs, and replacements, and carry out other safety practices.
Semi-trucks or commercial trucks are large and expensive equipment and maintaining them is even more expensive. However, proper maintenance does not make trucks more profitable, so long as they keep hauling products. Additionally, when a semi-truck is off the road for maintenance or repairs, it is not doing its job and not making money. Therefore, there is a motivation to not maintain proper maintenance to keep trucks hauling goods.
Other road users
While a commercial truck may be seen as a menace, sometimes, the decisions and actions of other road users may be the cause of the accident. Drunk driving, driving with low visibility, and other decisions can lead to an accident that may necessarily not be the primary fault of the truck driver. Although it is difficult to identify these third party negligent or at fault drivers; they are sometimes identified in collision reports or their tag number is identified by a driver involved in the accident.
Contact – Cannon & Associates: Oklahoma Fierce Advocates for commercial truck accident cases
Getting compensation in a commercial truck accident case can be complex. However, with help from a Fierce Advocate, we will fight to recover damages for all your losses and compensation for your current and future injuries. Cannon & Associates has the years of experience and expertise needed to deliver an aggressive legal representation to make you whole in your semi-truck accident.
Founder John Cannon has been recognized as a Super Lawyer and Top 40 under 40. Contact Cannon & Associates by completing the CONTACT FORM ON THIS PAGE NOW or CALL at (405) 906-4051 for a free confidential case evaluation.