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In a Truck Accident, Is the Truck Driver or Trucking Company Liable?

Posted on behalf of Stephens, Anderson & Cummings on Mar 29, 2018 in Truck Accidents

man driving commercial truckAfter a truck accident, it can be difficult to determine whether the truck driver or the trucking company is at fault. Depending on the reason behind the crash, the truck driver may be personally liable for the damage and injuries, or the driver’s employer may be responsible.

If you have been injured in an accident with a truck, a skilled truck accident attorney will determine who is at fault for the crash so you can pursue maximum compensation for your injuries. The lawyers at Stephens, Anderson & Cummings offer a free, no obligation consultation so you can learn if you have a case to pursue compensation after your collision.

Call (877) 920-9009 to schedule a free consultation with an experienced lawyer.

When Is a Truck Driver Liable for an Accident?

If a truck driver is acting within the scope of his or her employment when an accident occurs and the actions causing the accident were not intentional, he or she is not typically personally liable for the accident.

However, the truck driver may be held liable if he or she:

  • Is an independent contractor and not an employee of the trucking company.
  • Was acting deliberately. For example, if the driver was driving aggressively and caused a collision, he or she could be liable.
  • Was not driving within his or her scope of employment. This situation would apply if the accident occurred while the truck driver was using the vehicle for personal reasons.

When Is the Trucking Company Liable for an Accident?

Trucking companies may be directly liable for accidents if certain factors caused the accident, including the following:

Poor Vehicle Maintenance

Trucking companies are federally required to keep all trucks in their fleet well maintained. Regular inspections must be made, as well as repairs and maintenance for wear and tear. This includes:

  • Tires
  • Braking systems
  • Steering systems
  • Windows
  • Mirrors
  • Lights

When accidents occur because the truck or its components malfunctioned, and the accident could have been prevented with proper maintenance, the company could be held liable for the accident.

Mandatory Hours Violations

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has hours of service rules that state how long truck drivers are allowed to be on the road and mandatory break times before returning to service.

Truck companies are required to enforce these rules, but they are sometimes guilty of forcing drivers to work after the maximum limit has been reached. This is dangerous because the hours of service rules are in place to help prevent accidents caused by driver fatigue.

Negligent Hiring

Truck companies have a responsibility to hire safe and properly trained drivers. If a company is negligent in its hiring processes when employing drivers, the company can be held liable for accidents caused by a driver.

Examples of negligent hiring include hiring a driver who does not have a commercial driver’s license (CDL) or a driver with a record of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Contact Stephens, Anderson & Cummings Now

If you or someone you love was injured in a truck accident, you need the help of an experienced truck accident attorney. The personal injury lawyers at Stephens, Anderson & Cummings will determine who is at fault for your accident and pursue maximum compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Request a free, no obligation consultation now and learn about the legal options available in your case. Our attorneys take cases on a contingency fee basis, so there are no upfront fees and there is no risk to you. We only get paid if we help you recover compensation in your case.

Call (877) 920-9009 or fill out our Free Case Evaluation form today.