Truck accidents happen every day. In 2020 alone, for example, there were 2,632 wrecks involving large trucks – and hundreds of them involved serious injuries or deaths.
When there’s an accident involving a big rig or delivery vehicle, it’s tempting to put all the blame on the driver – and it is true that fatigue, distractions and errors in judgment are all common contributors to these crashes. However, injury victims need to look at all the possibilities when it comes to liability.
Numerous parties may share the responsibility
Aside from the truck driver, it may be possible to sue:
- The trucking company: An employer can generally be held responsible for their driver’s mistakes when those mistakes occur within the scope of their employment. This is known as vicarious liability and falls under a legal principle known as “respondeat superior.”
- A parts manufacturer: Manufacturing defects happen in vehicles of all shapes and sizes. If a defective piece of equipment – whether that’s a tire, a cargo strap or a piece of the engine – led to the crash, the manufacturer or distributor may be held liable.
- Maintenance and repair companies: Trucks aren’t safe unless they’re in good working order. If a repair company made a mistake while effecting repairs on the vehicle, that repair shop could also be held accountable for the crash.
- Cargo loaders: A shifting load can be a truck driver’s worst nightmare. If a cargo company’s workers made mistakes when they were packing or securing the truck’s load, the company should be held responsible.
Figuring out where liability for a truck accident belongs can help open the door to additional compensation for your injuries and losses. Many are the result of a combination of factors that all contribute to the end result. That’s why it’s so important to have experienced legal guidance with your claim.