Trucking Company Liability: Holding Them Accountable 18-Wheeler Accident Attorney

The trucking industry is essential in transporting goods across the United States. With millions of trucks on the road daily, accidents are an unfortunate but unavoidable part of this industry. Commercial truck accidents can lead to serious injuries, property damage, and even fatalities. 

Holding trucking companies liable for their actions is vital to ensure justice is served and the victims receive the compensation they deserve. In this article, we will look into the various aspects of trucking company liability and discuss how to hold them accountable in the event of an accident.

Understanding Trucking Company Liability

Trucking companies are required to guarantee that their operations adhere to strict safety regulations. Federal and state authorities put these regulations in place to minimize the risk of accidents on the road. 

Trucking company liability can arise from a variety of factors, including:

1. Negligent Hiring and Training

Trucking companies have to hire qualified and competent drivers. They do thorough background checks, verify driving records, and ensure drivers have the qualifications and licenses. Failure to follow protocol in hiring qualified drivers can lead to accidents caused by unqualified or inexperienced drivers, making the company liable for any resulting damages.

2. Poor Vehicle Maintenance

Truck maintenance is crucial for road safety. If they neglect regular maintenance and inspections, it can result in mechanical failures that lead to accidents. Trucking companies must maintain their vehicles following federal regulations. If they don’t follow the safety procedure, it can lead to liability if a maintenance-related issue causes an accident.

3. Hours of Service Violations

To combat driver fatigue, strict regulations state the number of hours a truck driver can be on the road on a given day or week. Violations of these “hours of service” regulations can lead to driver fatigue, impaired judgment, and an increased risk of accidents. Trucking companies can be liable if they pressure or encourage drivers to exceed these limits.

4. Overloading and Improper Loading

Properly loading cargo is essential for maintaining the stability and control of a commercial truck. Overloading or improperly securing cargo can lead to accidents, especially when the weight distribution is uneven. Trucking companies must ensure that cargo is loaded safely and within legal weight limits.

5. Negligent Supervision and Management

Trucking companies are responsible for supervising and managing their drivers and operations effectively. If they fail to provide adequate oversight or address safety concerns promptly, they can be held liable for any accidents that result from their negligence.

How to Hold Trucking Companies Liable

If you’ve been involved in an accident with a commercial truck and believe that the trucking company is at fault, there are steps you can take to hold them accountable:

1. Seek Immediate Medical Attention

Your health and safety should be your utmost priority. Immediately after the accident, make sure you seek medical attention immediately. Even if you think injuries are negligible. Medical treatment delays may harm your health and affect your ability to file a claim later.

2. Gather Evidence

Collecting evidence is crucial for building a strong case. This includes:

  • Accident scene photos: Accident scene photos should be taken, including vehicle damage, road conditions, and any skid marks or debris.
  • Witness statements: Get the contact information and statements of any witnesses to the accident.
  • Police report: Contact the police and ensure a report is filed. Obtain a copy of the report, as it can be valuable evidence.
  • Medical records: Ensure you have all the medical records related to the accident.
  • Maintenance and inspection records: If you suspect poor maintenance was a factor, request records from the trucking company.
  • Driver’s log: If hours of service violations are suspected, request the driver’s logbook to check for discrepancies.

3. Consult an Attorney

Trucking accidents can be legally complex, and trucking companies often have a legal team to ensure they only have limited liability. To level the playing field, consult an experienced personal injury attorney specializing in trucking accidents. Your lawyer can help make you understand your rights, evaluate the strength of your case, and guide you through the legal process.

4. File a Lawsuit

If negotiations with the trucking company’s insurance provider do not result in a fair settlement, you may need to file a lawsuit to pursue compensation. Your attorney will help you with any legal records and help you file the necessary legal documents, and they will represent your interests in court.

5. Pursue Damages

When seeking compensation in a trucking accident case, you may be eligible for various types of damages, including:

  • Medical expenses: It needs to include coverage for any past or future bills related to the accident 
  • Lost wages: You need to be compensated for wages lost due to your injuries
  • Pain and suffering: Non-economic damages for physical and emotional distress.
  • Property damage: All repairs or damage to your vehicle should be accounted for.
  • Wrongful death: In cases involving fatalities, compensation for surviving family members.

6. Settlement Negotiations

In most cases, trucking companies and their insurers prefer to settle out of court to avoid the uncertainty and expense of a trial. Your attorney will negotiate with the other party to secure a fair settlement covering your damages. If an acceptable agreement is reached, the case can be resolved without going to court.

7. Trial

If negotiations cannot be settled, your case may proceed to trial. Both sides will need to present their evidence and arguments to a judge and jury during a trial. A successful trial outcome can result in a verdict that awards you compensation for your damages.

Common Defenses by Trucking Companies

Trucking companies and insurers may use various tactics to defend themselves against liability. 

Some common defenses include:

1. Challenging Causation

Trucking companies may argue that their actions were not the primary cause of the accident. They might suggest that other factors, such as the actions of other drivers or adverse weather conditions, were the main contributors to the accident.

2. Denying Negligence

Trucking companies often deny any negligence and may attempt to shift blame onto the injured party. They might claim that the driver followed all safety regulations and the accident was unfortunate and unavoidable.

3. Disputing Damages

Trucking companies may challenge the extent of the damages you’re claiming. They may argue that you lied about your injuries, that they are not as severe as you claim, or that certain expenses are unrelated to the accident.

Accidents involving commercial trucks can have disastrous consequences. It is essential to hold trucking companies accountable for their actions. Trucking company liability can arise from various factors, including negligent hiring, poor maintenance, hours of service violations, and more. If you are in the unfortunate situation of a trucking accident, seek immediate medical attention, gather evidence, consult with an attorney, and pursue your legal rights.

Trucking companies often have legal teams to protect their interests, so having an experienced attorney is crucial. Whether through settlement negotiations or a trial, holding trucking companies liable is critical in seeking justice and obtaining the compensation you need to recover from a trucking accident’s physical, emotional, and financial consequences.

When facing the aftermath of an 18-wheeler accident, the importance of having an experienced attorney by your side cannot be overstated. These accidents can result in life-altering injuries, substantial medical bills, and emotional trauma. Holding trucking companies accountable for their actions is a complex and challenging process, but it’s one that a dedicated attorney can navigate with skill and determination.

Throughout this article, we’ve explored the various aspects of trucking company liability, from negligent hiring and maintenance to hours of service violations and poor supervision. We’ve discussed the steps you can take to protect your rights and get the compensation you deserve, emphasizing the critical role that evidence collection, legal counsel, and the pursuit of damages play in this process.

Your Partner in Seeking Justice

Trucking companies often employ sophisticated defense strategies, making it essential to have a legal advocate who understands the intricacies of trucking accident cases. Whether through settlement negotiations or a trial, your attorney will advocate tirelessly on your behalf to ensure that justice is served.

Ultimately, the goal is not just to hold trucking companies liable for their negligence but also to provide the financial resources necessary to rebuild your life after a devastating accident. 

Remember, you don’t have to face this journey alone. By partnering with our skilled 18-wheeler accident attorney at the Morgan Legal Group PLLC, you can navigate the legal complexities and receive the compensation you need to move toward recovery and a brighter future.

Wind Farm Accident Attorney Houston, USA