Who Can Be Held Liable in a Trucking Accident Case?
Being involved in a truck accident can be an incredibly traumatic experience. If you’ve been injured, you may be wondering who is liable for the damages caused by the accident. The answer to this question depends on the circumstances of the case and may include multiple parties. If you need help with your claim, don’t hesitate to contact our Charleston truck accident lawyers to schedule a free consultation.
Possible Liable Parties in a South Carolina Trucking Accident Case
Determining fault in a trucking accident case can be complex due to multiple parties potentially being involved and liable for damages incurred from such events. The following are some of the parties that could be liable in a trucking accident case:
The Truck Driver
The first person who is likely to be held liable in a trucking accident case is the truck driver themselves. Depending on the circumstances of the crash, they could face civil and criminal penalties. If the driver was negligent or reckless while operating their vehicle, they may be found at fault for any resulting damages or injuries.
This could include failing to follow traffic laws, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, fatigue from long hours on the road, or distracted driving (e.g., texting while driving). The driver may also be liable if they were not properly licensed or trained to operate a commercial vehicle safely.
The Trucking Company
In many cases, it’s not just the individual driver who can be held accountable for an accident involving a commercial truck – the company that employs them can also bear responsibility.
For example, if it is found that the company was negligent in hiring an unqualified driver or did not adequately train their employees on safety protocols, they could face legal action. Additionally, if it is determined that inadequate maintenance was performed on the vehicle, this could lead to liability as well.
In some instances, issues with cargo loaded onto trucks can contribute to accidents and these companies are subject to liability. If cargo is placed improperly by loading companies, this could lead to instability while driving and cause an accident.
Similarly, if cargo is left unsecured, then this too has potential hazards such as shifting contents which can increase stopping distances and create dangerous scenarios for other vehicles on the road.
Manufacturers & Mechanics
The manufacturers of parts used in trucks can also be held liable if those parts malfunctioned due to poor design or inadequate production processes. Similarly, mechanics who failed to adequately diagnose and fix mechanical issues with trucks can also be found liable if their negligence led directly to an accident. It is important that these parties are identified early on for victims of trucking accidents to receive fair compensation for their injuries and losses.
A third party may also be responsible for your damages in some cases. Common examples include other drivers on the road or even government entities responsible for maintaining highways and roads. These parties can all potentially share responsibility depending on how much fault each has in causing an accident.
If you’ve been involved in a trucking accident and need help with a claim, contact us today to schedule a free consultation.