Who is Responsible for Damages After an Accident with a Tractor Trailer?

by Doug Zanes | Last Updated: August 13, 2020

Due to their size and weight, tractor-trailer accidents can be exceedingly dangerous. In fact, according to the most recent data available, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reported that in Arizona, 69 people were killed in truck accidents during the course of a year.

Since the injuries involved with truck accidents can be so serious, it can be overwhelming for families to think about how they will pay for mounting medical bills. That’s why it’s critical to hold those responsible accountable for their actions.

Commercial truck accidents greatly vary from typical car accidents in a few ways. Whereas most of the time car accidents are caused by driver error, road conditions, or vehicle malfunction, commercial truck accidents can be caused by entirely different factors. This means that a number of different entities, such as the following, may be held liable.

The Truck Driver

As with a car accident, a truck driver may be held liable for a truck accident. Truck drivers that engage in risky driving behaviors and who act negligently are often to blame. Such negligent actions include:

  • Impaired Driving
  • Speeding
  • Violating Hours of Service
  • Distracted Driving
  • Aggressive Driving
  • Drowsy Driving
  • Overloaded Trucks

The Trucking Company

Since we want to discourage trucking companies from placing profits above the creation of a safe work environment, they are also often held responsible for the actions of their driver.

For example, the trucking industry is regulated so that a driver can only drive for so many hours before he or she must take a break. This is because drivers who are driving while drowsy often fail to employ safe driving techniques.

It’s also the responsibility of the trucking company to vet their drivers, ensuring that they are qualified. Additionally, they must supply them with thorough training.

The Cargo Company

When cargo is not properly loaded onto a truck, which can cause unevenly distributed items to shift during transit, it can lead the truck to tip over onto its side. When the accident occurred as a result of improperly loaded cargo, the cargo company will be held liable.

The Manufacturer

Sometimes the truck itself is defective or has defective components. When these defects, such as issues with the brakes, tires, or the engine, malfunction and cause the truck driver to lose control of the vehicle, the manufacturer may be held liable.

Consulting with a Qualified Truck Accident Attorney

If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident due to the negligence of another party, it can leave you battling physical, emotional, and financial hurdles. But the good news is that a qualified truck accident attorney can help. At Zanes Law, we will help you fight for the compensation you deserve.

Doug Zanes: Founding Attorney Raised in Douglas, Arizona, and went to college at Arizona State University and graduated from law school at St. Mary’s University School of Law in Texas. Doug began practicing law in Phoenix Arizona in 1997.
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