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Trucking Companies’ Liability In Accidents

In the aftermath of a truck accident, determining liability is a critical step in victims’ pursuit of compensation for their injuries and losses. While the immediate assumption might be to place full responsibility on the truck driver, there are numerous instances where the trucking company itself can be held liable. Listed below are five examples of reasons why a trucking company may be liable for a truck accident. Determining and proving the full extent of liability in a complex truck accident case can be difficult, but with the assistance of a truck accident lawyer, it can be made easy.

Inadequate Driver Training

As our friends at Hall-Justice Law Firm LLC know, one of the primary responsibilities of a trucking company is to ensure that their drivers are properly trained. Operating a commercial truck requires specialized skills and knowledge, from handling the vehicle’s size and weight to understanding federal and state regulations. If a trucking company fails to provide adequate training, or hires drivers without verifying their qualifications, the company can be held liable for accidents that occur as a result of this negligence.

Failure To Maintain Vehicles

Regular maintenance and inspections of commercial trucks are mandated by law, and a failure to do so can make a trucking company liable for any consequences caused by a vehicle malfunction or failure. When a trucking company neglects these duties, critical vehicle systems such as brakes, tires, and lights may fail, leading to accidents. If it can be proven that an accident was caused by a lack of proper maintenance, the trucking company can be found liable for any resulting damages.

Violating Hours Of Service Regulations

To combat driver fatigue, federal regulations limit the number of hours a truck driver can operate without rest. Trucking companies that encourage or turn a blind eye to violations of these regulations put their drivers and others on the road at risk. If an accident occurs because a driver was operating beyond the legal hours of service, the trucking company can be held accountable for encouraging or permitting this dangerous behavior.

Improper Loading Practices

The way a truck’s cargo is loaded can significantly impact its handling and stability. Overloading a truck, or loading it in a way that unevenly distributes its weight, can lead to accidents, especially at high speeds or in difficult driving conditions. Trucking companies are responsible for ensuring that cargo is properly secured and within legal weight limits. Failure to adhere to these standards can lead to liability for accidents caused by shifting or falling cargo.

Negligent Hiring Practices

Trucking companies have a duty to ensure the safety of their operations by hiring qualified and experienced drivers. This includes conducting background checks to verify a driver’s licensing, training, and driving history. Hiring drivers with a history of traffic violations, accidents, or substance abuse without proper vetting can be considered negligent hiring. If an accident occurs as a result of such negligence, the trucking company can be held liable for the accident and any injuries and losses sustained by the victims.

The Importance Of Legal Representation

Navigating the aftermath of a truck accident can be overwhelming for victims and their families. Determining the liability of a trucking company involves a complex investigation into the company’s practices, policies, and the specific circumstances of the accident. Enlisting the assistance of an experienced lawyer that specializes in these types of cases, can offer the knowledge needed to uncover evidence of negligence and pursue the compensation victims deserve.