Any type of auto accident can be devastating, but semi-truck and tractor-trailer accidents usually cause serious injuries, and in some cases even death. Initially, you may think the truck driver is to blame. However, many different parties may be at fault in a trucking accident. Uncovering the true culprit of your truck accident is one of the keys to getting you the compensation you deserve.
Depending on the circumstances of your case, the following parties may be liable:
Driver — Truck drivers are required to follow strict regulations. These rules govern many aspects of the trucking industry, including the hours of continuous driving allowed per week by a truck driver, use of the sleeper berth and vehicle width and size.
Truck owner — If you are in an accident with an 18-wheeler, the truck owner, not the driver, may be at fault. Truck owners have a responsibility to maintain and inspect their vehicles. A failure to do so can result in catastrophic injury or loss of life.
Vehicle manufacturer — When a semi-truck component fails to work properly, the driver may lose control and collide with other motorists. Trucking defects include faulty tires, defective brakes and malfunctioning trailer hitches.
Cargo shipper or loader — A truck’s cargo can greatly affect steering and stability. If overloaded or loaded improperly, cargo can cause an 18-wheeler to become difficult to maneuver and prone to jackknifing.
Truck accidents can cause pain and suffering for victims and families.