After suffering debilitating injuries during a collision with an 18-wheeler, your mind is spinning with questions about what’s going to happen next.
“How badly was I injured?”, “Where am I going to find a truck accident attorney while I’m stuck in the hospital?”, “Who is responsible for causing this accident?”
These are only a few of the questions you might have following your truck accident. A good place to start is figuring out who caused your accident, as this is the party who will be ordered to compensate you if you file a civil claim.
We describe in further detail below some of the most common causes of truck accidents, including safety inspectors, driver negligence, trucking companies, and others.
Many people contribute to the safety, operation, and maintenance of trucks. But safety inspectors have an obligation to ensure the vehicle itself is in safe condition before it gets on the roads.
If a safety inspector cut corners one day, is unqualified to hold their position, or made a mistake that contributed to the cause of the accident, they can be held accountable in a court of law.
Truck Driver Negligence
Trucker negligence may very well be the most common cause of truck accidents across the U.S. Many truck drivers have been found liable for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, driving while fatigued, distracted driving, and of risky driving practices such as speeding or driving through a red traffic light.
Trucking Company and Truck Owners
When a truck driver is found liable, it calls into question whether the company employing the truck driver was negligent in some way. They could have ordered the trucker to work an exorbitant amount of hours, leaving them too tired to drive; or maybe they failed to do their due diligence before hiring this particular truck driver.
Similarly, truck owners can be held accountable for accidents that are caused when the safety of the truck itself is called into question.
The people who load cargo into these large commercial trucks have a responsibility to ensure the cargo is properly secured, and that the truck is securely closed after cargo has been loaded.
Failure to properly secure cargo loads or otherwise act negligently in the loading of the cargo can result in a civil claim against the cargo loaders.
Individuals who perform routine maintenance and make repairs to tractor-trailers can also be held accountable for a truck accident.
Perhaps they used defective parts during a repair to save money. Or maybe they do not have the skill set to be performing maintenance to such a dangerous motor vehicle. These are just a couple of instances in which a truck technician could be found liable for your injuries.
Auto Parts Manufacturers
The auto parts manufacturers, those that actually manufacture the parts that make up the truck could play a part in the cause of your accident as well. It’s possible they chose to continue using defective parts, as with the infamous Takata airbag scandal. But this is just one possibility. Any time defective or faulty parts cause an accident, the manufacturer could be responsible.
Lastly, government agencies are often responsible for performing maintenance on the roadways on which all cars drive. If necessary repairs are not made, construction zones left unsecured, or the roads are otherwise unsafe, the government agencies responsible for keeping the roads in safe condition to drive on could be found culpable.