When can a trucking company be held liable following an accident?
Usually, drivers take the blame following an accident since they were behind the wheel at the time of the crash. However, situations beyond their control can lead to an accident in some cases. It means that another party could be responsible.
When it comes to accidents involving trucks where the driver is an employee, that other party could be the trucking company. Their liability may stem from failing to adhere to trucking regulations, among other issues as discussed below.
Lack of maintenance
If the trucking company fails to ensure that the trucks are regularly maintained, they could be at fault for the accident if a lack of maintenance caused it. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations require trucking companies to ensure that all trucks are roadworthy whenever they are on the road.
Violations of the hours of service
Truck drivers are required to operate within specific timelines to avoid instances of driver fatigue. However, should the trucking company push its drivers to the limit disregarding the stipulated hours of service, they could share in the responsibility of a crash involving a fatigued driver.
Failure to hire the right drivers
Trucking companies should ensure that they hire competent drivers with the necessary qualifications. However, if the trucking company employs unqualified drivers or fails to conduct background checks, it will be held responsible if they cause an accident.
Navigating a trucking accident claim can be challenging, especially if you are going against the trucking company. Their deep pockets mean that you will likely be facing some of the best legal representatives they can afford, given the high stakes involved.
If you are well prepared to protect your rights, you will significantly increase your chances of getting the compensation you deserve to cover all damages suffered.