Since commercial trucks are capable of doing far more damage than a truck driver can afford to compensate, in a trucking accident the attorney of the injured must seek compensation from other potentially responsible parties.
Usually, a plaintiff’s lawyer will look to the trucking line (carrier) or manufacturer of tires or other equipment that contributed to the trucking accident, which will have assets or insurance adequate to compensate the victims.
Proving Employer Liability in a Trucking Accident
If the truck driver in an accident was an employee of or controlled by the trucking line, the trucking line will be liable for the trucker’s negligence. To avoid this liability, a carrier will make truckers independent contractors.
Liability Based on a Leased Truck and Driver
When a carrier leases a truck and driver, it has exclusive possession of the leased truck and the driver’s negligence falls on the carrier.
When a Carrier is Negligent in Hiring or Retaining a Truck Driver
If a carrier either hires a trucker who is likely to harm others or allows a truck that is too dangerous to be on the road, the carrier is liable for damages caused. An insurance company that is involved in hiring truckers for a carrier that it insures is also open to liability.
Proving Negligent Maintenance, Inspection, or Repair
After an accident that is at least partially attributed to mechanical failure, if the carrier cannot produce adequate maintenance and inspection records or has not made necessary repairs, the carrier will be considered negligent and liable.
Violations of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations
A claim may be made against a carrier that violates any of the federal safety regulations when the violation leads to injury.
For more information about trucking laws and liability, see the Truck Accident section of this website and visit our website: