Who is Liable After a Truck Accident?
Holding the Right Parties Liable After a Truck Accident
Truck accidents often involve serious injuries – especially to the passengers and drivers of the cars involved in the collision. These types of accidents are also typically more complicated than those involving only passenger vehicles. It can be harder to determine whether a truck driver or trucking company is at fault and who should be held liable for the resulting injuries.
For this reason, it is important to hire an experienced Los Angeles truck accident attorney to determine fault for the truck crash so you can get the full compensation that you deserve.
When Is a Truck Driver Personally Liable for a Crash?
Depending on the specific facts of the accident, the truck driver may be personally liable for any resulting damages and injuries. Generally, if your attorney can prove that the truck driver was acting within the scope of his or her employment at the time of the collision and the actions causing the crash were not intentional, he or she may not be liable.
On the other hand, you may be able to hold the trucker liable for your damages and injuries if he or she:
- Is an independent contractor and not an employee of the trucking company.
- Was acting deliberately – for instance, the driver could be liable if he or she was driving aggressively and caused the crash.
- Was not driving within his or her scope of employment. This situation would apply if the collision happened while the truck driver was using the vehicle for personal reasons.
When Is the Trucking Company Liable for a Crash?
You can hold a trucking company liable in a truck accident if certain factors caused the crash. Three main factors include:
- Poor maintenance of the vehicle. Trucking companies are required under federal law to properly maintain the trucks in their fleet. They are federally required to regularly inspect their tucks, as well as maintain and repair wear and tear for all parts, including:
- Braking systems
- Steering systems
- Violating federally required hours for truckers. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has hours of service rules that dictate how long truckers are permitted to drive and the amount of mandatory break times they must take before returning to service. Trucking companies are federally mandated to enforce these rules. If they force their truck drivers to work after the maximum time limit has been reached, they can be held liable for any resulting crash and injuries.
- Negligent Hiring of truck drivers. Trucking companies have a responsibility to hire safe drivers and provide them with adequate and proper training. If a company is negligent in hiring its drivers, it can be held liable for any accidents caused by the driver.
Contact an Experienced Los Angeles Truck Accident Attorney
If you or a loved has been injured in a truck accident, you should discuss your legal options with an attorney as you may be entitled to compensation. The Los Angeles truck accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Samer Habbas & Associates advocate for their clients’ full financial recovery through hard work and an aggressive approach. For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our attorneys, please call 949-727-9300.