Accidents involving a big rig can be devastating and cause serious emotional and physical harm, even death. It’s important to understand who’s liable in these cases, and a good big rig accident attorney is the perfect source to help you get the compensation you deserve when another party is found liable. Here’s what you need to know.
Unfortunately, it’s rare that liability in an 18 wheeler accident is limited to just the driver of the truck or the driver of a passenger vehicle. Since most big rigs are owned by a company or individual other than the driver, liability can be placed on the truck owner, whoever leased the truck, the truck manufacturer, or the driver of the truck. All these parties must be thoroughly investigated because error from any of these parties may have actually caused the accident.
There are also numerous factors that big rig accident attorneys must consider when determining liability. There are many laws and regulations that govern the trucking industry, so drivers are required to keep logs to track driving time and other information to ensure they are not fatigued and driving as safely as possible. Additionally, driver deadlines, truck maintenance, and loading techniques must be examined to conclude whether or not negligence on anyone’s part contributed to the accident.
In the past, trucking companies attempted, and in many cases succeeded in, avoiding liability by claiming that the driver wasn’t one of their employees, or that they were not responsible for maintaining the equipment that may have malfunctioned. Fortunately, federal laws have made it harder for trucking companies to make this claim, making it easier for attorneys to absolve responsibility for the victims. Additionally, certified truck inspectors and devices that record data in commercial trucks make it easier to determine what actually happened so that victims are much less likely to be determined liable, and thus receive the compensation they deserve.