Determining liability in a truck accident can be an arduous task. No, it’s not always a sleepy or an intoxicated truck driver who is at fault when there’s a crash. There are other reasons. If you get injured in this unwanted situation, holding the appropriate party responsible for the damage is important to get the proper compensation.
How to determine liability?
The parties involved in operating and maintaining a commercial truck can be numerous, including the truck driver, the trucking company, the truck manufacturer and others. Each of these parties may be responsible for different aspects of the accident, and their liability level may depend on various factors. Here are some tips for figuring out liability:
- Investigate the accident scene: Investigating the location of the accident can give you a general idea of what happened. Examine all vehicles and properties involved. If you can, take photos of the accidents and record interviews with the witnesses. Closely analyzing the scene may also help establish whether other parties might be involved, such as a pedestrian crossing the street unexpectedly.
- Assess the driver’s behavior: Pinpoint early if the driver may be the guilty party by assessing their behavior. Look for signs of drowsiness, intoxication, or if any other objects, such as smartphones or food in the truck, may have caused distractions.
- Check for trucking company violations: Although it may take some time, a background check on the trucking company that hired the driver may also do some good. Any previous record of the same accident from the same company may mean that there might be some fault issues with their training and hiring process. Or there might be maintenance negligence on their part.
- Look for mechanical failures: If the accident happened because the cargo the truck is carrying fell off or equipment malfunctions, the truck manufacturer may have caused an oversight and could not ensure the safety of the loaded cargo.
These are just examples of how to determine who is liable in a truck accident. There are times when more than one entity may be responsible for what happened.
What to do next?
Once you have identified all at-fault parties, you may need to compile the evidence, such as the police report, pictures of the scene, video footage, and the truck’s monitoring system, to prove who was at fault and, therefore, liable for your losses. You may also consult an attorney to help you with the claims process.
Figuring out liabilities in truck accidents may be complex, but ensuring you get the facts right will help you get the appropriate compensation from the party at fault.