Commercial trucks are massive, and they are also extremely heavy. When they are involved in a crash with another vehicle, it is always the occupants of the smaller vehicle that will suffer the worst injuries. Truck accidents that occur on high-speed highways and interstates are the most severe and can even result in wrongful death.
Truck accidents are different from other collisions on the road. It is typically easier to determine liability when two passenger vehicles are involved in a crash. In these cases, it is usually one of the drivers that were at fault.
Determining liability after a truck accident is not so straightforward, though. Still, it is an important step in a truck accident claim so you can claim the full damages you deserve. If you were injured in a truck accident, the lawyers at MG Law can help you determine who you can hold liable for your truck accident case.
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The Truck Driver
Truck drivers are often the first party that is blamed after a crash. Indeed, truckers sometimes engage in several negligent behaviors that cause serious accidents. Some of these include:
- Driving too many consecutive hours
- Driving while distracted, fatigued, or impaired
- Failing to properly inspect the vehicle
Any time a truck driver acts negligently, they can be held liable for paying full damages for any catastrophic injuries or fatalities that result. However, although truck drivers are often the first to blame, other parties can be held liable, too.
Trucking companies often enact policies that directly lead to truck accidents on the road. For example, a trucking company may provide incentives such as paying truckers for every mile they drive. By its very nature, that motivates truckers to stay on the road longer than they are allowed to without taking a rest break.
Or, it could influence truck drivers to speed to cover more distance in a shorter amount of time. Trucking companies can also be held liable when they provide inadequate training, engage in negligent hiring practices, or do not perform the proper maintenance on their fleet of trucks.
The Truck Owner
Trucking companies do not always own the trucks they use, and neither do truck drivers in every case.
In some cases, trucking companies and truckers rent the trucks from other parties. Truck owners are always responsible for making sure their trucks are in good working condition so that the people who use them, and others, are kept safe.
Truck owners who are negligent and do not fulfill this responsibility can be held liable when a truck accident occurs due to an unsafe truck.
All manufacturers in Georgia are responsible for ensuring the products they make are safe so no one becomes hurt. Manufacturers of trucks have the same responsibility. Truck manufacturers that create defective trucks, or that use defective parts when manufacturing their trucks can be held liable for any accident the faulty part causes.
For example, a truck manufacturer may use defective brakes in their trucks. Trucks already take much longer to slow and stop than other vehicles. Any time a truck cannot stop at all due to defective brakes, it can cause a catastrophic accident and the manufacturer can be held liable for it.
Cargo Loading Companies
Often, a truck driver or trucking company will use a third party to load the cargo onto a truck. Loading of the cargo must be done very carefully. Trucks have a certain weight capacity and if they are overloaded, it can cause the trucker to lose control of the vehicle and an accident will result.
Cargo can also be loaded improperly. In these cases, the cargo will shift during transport and throw off the balance of the entire truck. This will also cause the truck driver to lose control of the truck, which can result in a serious crash. When it is found that a third party improperly loaded the truck, they can be held liable.
Just as trucking companies often outsource the loading of trucks, it is also common for them to use a third party to inspect their trucks. Professional inspectors should know how to identify problems with the truck and report them properly to the appropriate party.
When they fail to detect a problem, or do not report it to the trucking company or truck driver, inspectors can be held liable for any accident that ensues.
Sometimes, the same company that inspects the trucks will also perform maintenance on them. In other instances, the maintenance company is separate from the party that performs the inspection.
This is particularly true when a truck breaks down while it is on the road and the trucker has to take the vehicle to the closest maintenance company, instead of the one that is regularly used.
Maintenance companies have to fix problems correctly and ensure the truck is safe before it heads back onto the road. Big rig mechanics and other maintenance companies that do not perform their job properly can be held liable for truck accidents.
In some cases, a government entity may also be held liable for a truck accident. Local and state governments have a responsibility to ensure the roads and infrastructure are designed properly and that they are also maintained properly.
Governments sometimes try to save money by taking shortcuts and failing to give the roadways the proper attention and maintenance they deserve. In these cases, the government entity can be held liable for any accident an improper road design or unmaintained road design causes.
Our Truck Accident Lawyers in Atlanta Can Determine Liability
It is very difficult to determine who to hold liable for your injuries after a truck accident. Doing so requires a thorough investigation, gathering of evidence, and applying the law to your case.
At MG Law, our Atlanta truck accident lawyers will perform these tasks to determine who was liable for your accident. We will then hold them accountable for paying the full financial compensation you deserve. Call us today at 770-988-5252 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.