Who Is Liable in a Semi Truck Accident?

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There are many legal challenges when filing a claim for a semi truck accident. Determining who is at fault is an important step, but determining who is liable can be complex, as sometimes multiple parties may be to blame.

If you’ve been injured in an accident involving a semi truck, compensation for medical costs, lost wages, and other expenses is critical. But before you can pursue a lawsuit or settlement, you must determine who the liable parties are. Here are some possible individuals and entities who may face semi truck accident liability.

Truck Driver

If a commercial truck driver was driving under the influence, speeding, distracted, ran a red light, changed lanes unsafely, was texting, or failed to yield the right of way before the accident, they could be liable for negligence. Fatigued driving is another common cause of accidents. Drivers are often responsible for loading cargo and maintaining their vehicle. They could be at-fault if shifting cargo or a preventable problem led to an accident and injury.

Trucking Company

In some instances, a truck driver’s negligence may be unintentional. It can occur within their regular scope of duties so the company could face liability if, for example, a truck was overloaded, an inspection was not completed, or equipment was not repaired. Negligent hiring practices can be considered if the driver wasn’t properly trained. If the company allowed or encouraged employees to break the law regarding work hours and sleep time, it could face liability for an accident.

Cargo Shipping and Loading Company

Cargo transport companies are often contracted to handle shipping. The company that loaded or owns the cargo moved by the semi truck can be liable for damages if the cargo is unbalanced or unsecured inside the trailer. Poorly secured items can fall and cause injuries to workers, other people nearby, or vehicles. The truck itself could be damaged by an unsecured batch of containers or equipment. Shipping/loading companies are even more at risk of liability when hazardous materials are involved, such as fuel, dry ice, oxygen tanks, refrigerant gases, fertilizer, or consumer electronics with lithium batteries.

Vehicle Manufacturer

The manufacturer may be held liable if a defect in a component or the vehicle itself contributed to the crash. A product liability claim may be filed due to causes such as brake failure or defects in steering components, load straps, tires, locks, hydraulics, or trailer hitches. The manufacturer of the truck or the part may be responsible for damages, depending on the circumstances and evidence.

Truck Owner

If a trucking company has a vehicle in its fleet owned by another party, such as a vendor, the outsourced party may be found liable. This is especially so if the owner is responsible for vehicle inspection and maintenance. If they did not uphold their obligations, and an accident occurred, the truck owner could be liable at least in part.

Contact The Law Offices of Jacob Emrani

If you or someone you know has been injured in a truck accident, it is very important to hire a semi truck accident lawyer. The Law Offices of Jacob Emrani is a serious injury law firm conveniently located in Los Angeles to help clients obtain the compensation they deserve. Our team specializes in semi truck and other transportation accidents, having recovered millions of dollars in damages for clients. We are open and ready to help you during the coronavirus pandemic. For a free consultation by our Los Angeles semi truck accident attorney, call 888-952-2952 today!