After a trucking accident, most drivers automatically assume that it is the truck driver who will be held legally responsible for causing the collision. However, this is generally not the case. In most cases involving truck accidents, several parties can be held responsible for the collision.
The trucking company, in particular, can usually be held responsible under the following circumstances:
Failure to maintain their vehicles
Failure to ensure their drivers were appropriately qualified to operate their vehicle
Violating state and Federal Hours of Service Laws
Pressurizing drivers to drive against their best interest (forcing them to operate their trucks in very bad weather conditions or when the driver is feeling sick or fatigued)
Trucking companies must ensure their drivers are qualified and that they are following the strict rulings put forwards by the Department of Transportation and similar official administrations. When they are hiring the driver, they are required to check the individuals detailed driving record and see if they have a history of breaking traffic violations or if they were ever caught driving under the influence.
If they were guilty of such offenses, then they should not be hired for the job. Employers who overlook such matters and fail to conduct a thorough investigation into the driver’s previous driving record and to validate their credentials will most definitely be held accountable if the driver ends up getting into a serious accident. If drivers and their trucking companies do not follow the rules and they try to bend them to increase their profits, then they can face serious legal penalties.
Hiring a truck accident attorney is a wise first step to take after one gets into a truck collision. An attorney will launch a serious investigation to discern who was responsible for the accident and whether any of the series of the detailed ruling set forth by the DOT and FMCSA were violated by the driver or the trucking company. Depending on what cause is derived, the relevant parties can be questioned and tried in court.
The damages that result from truck accidents often lead to serious life-changing injuries or the loss of a loved one. Paying for the injuries, funeral expenses, and trying to make up the lost income incurred because of the accident can be a lot more them most people can afford on their own. Therefore, a person must take every precautionary measure to ensure they get the most compensation out of their truck accident case. It can be nearly impossible to wade through the legal paperwork and lead a thorough investigation on one’s own after undergoing such a traumatic experience. Hiring a legal representative to take care of all the legalities is the best course of action that can be pursued in such a circumstance.