Commercial truck accidents can be more complex than passenger car accidents since there are many factors that can contribute to a truck accident. In a car accident, the liable party is typically the driver of the car or the driver in the opposite car who caused the crash. In a truck accident, defining who is liable can be more difficult. A truck accident lawyer is needed for your case to gather important evidence and investigate the crash to discover who is at fault.
Besides the truck driver, there could be multiple parties responsible for your truck accident. For example, the trucking company may have demanded that the driver ignore the federal hours of service regulations to meet a tight deadline. The fatigued driver then fell asleep behind the wheel, causing a truck accident. In a case such as this, the truck company could be held liable for the truck crash.
After a truck accident, the truck company that employs the driver will most likely try to protect itself from any liability. They will work to prove through their own lawyers and investigators that the truck accident was the result of driver error. This is why it is critical to contact a truck accident lawyer in Washington, DC as soon as possible to protect your legal rights and investigate the true cause of the crash.
While many factors contribute to a truck accident, the truck driver’s error may be the only cause of the collision. Trucks are typically 20 to 30 times the size of a passenger vehicle, and the drivers of these large vehicles have a responsibility to others on the road to drive with caution. All truck drivers are required to have a CDL (commercial driver’s license) and go through substantial training; however, human error may still occur.
Factors contributing to a truck driver’s liability in a trucking accident can include:
Like stated above, there are many reasons why a truck driver can be held liable for a collision. However, there may actually be multiple parties that contributed to the truck accident, and not driver error alone.
Truckers have a job that includes long hours on the road, combined with strict drop-off and pick-up schedules that they must adhere to. A truck company could can incentivize their drivers to hit quotas that would put pressure on the driver to drive beyond their hourly limit. This can cause the trucker to drive while fatigued, which may result in a serious accident. In a case like this, both the trucking company and truck driver may be held liable if a truck accident occurred under these circumstances.
When you get into an accident with a commercial vehicle such as a truck, some of the parties that may be responsible for your injuries include:
The truck company is in charge of keeping track of information about drivers, like doing background checks, making sure drivers get enough rest, and more. If the company failed to hire a responsible driver or forced the driver to ignore state and federal regulations, the company could be held liable for a trucking accident.
Many shipping companies hire a third-party broker to put them in touch with drivers and trucking companies. This means that if you were in a truck accident with a vehicle hired by one of these brokers, your truck accident lawyer will want to know if the broker did their due diligence when hiring the trucking company and if they had any control over the driver’s schedule.
If the truck crash was caused by a mechanical failure or another problem with a part of the truck, you could also add the truck manufacturer to the list of people who are responsible. In some cases, the owner of the truck could also be held responsible for a defective part on the vehicle if they did not have the truck regularly maintained.
In some cases, the accident was not caused by the truck driver or the accident victim. Sometimes, the cause for the accident was the negligence of another driver on the road. For example, while making a turn, the truck driver has to slam on their brakes to avoid a car that is running right lane. The truck jackknifes, causing you to drive right into the vehicle. If this is the case, you may be dealing with both the truck driver’s insurance company as well as the other driver who ran the red light.
In order to find out who is liable in a truck accident, a thorough investigation will be needed. You can start collecting evidence immediately after the accident by taking photos and getting contact information from both the other drivers involved as well as any witnesses. You will also want to keep all documentation about the accident including repair bills, medical expenses, and lost wages.
You also want to contact a truck accident attorney as soon as possible to start the investigation. Our truck accident lawyers will hire investigators, expert witnesses, and accident reconstructionists to find out what happened before the accident occurred. We will also reach out to the trucking company to protect the data from the truck’s “black box,” a device that records what the truck driver was doing before and during the accident. Getting the black box after an accident is impossible to do on your own.
After a truck accident, our lawyers will fully investigate the crash and uncover the true cause of the accident. If the attorneys at Regan Zambri Long find that there are multiple parties that can be held liable in a truck accident, you may be able to receive maximum compensation due to multiple claims.
The Washington, DC personal injury lawyers at Regan Zambri Long have over three decades of experience in truck accident litigation and have obtained millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts. If you need a trustworthy, experienced personal injury lawyer to represent you in your truck accident case, do not hesitate to contact us at (202)960-4596 or fill out a contact form today.