By: Allan M. Siegel
Establishing fault and liability is a focal point of any negligence claim,
including those involving auto and trucking accidents. By determining
the underlying cause of an accident, how it resulted from negligence,
and how it caused preventable injuries, victims and their loved ones can
seek a financial recovery from the party responsible for their damages,
including their medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and more.
At Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C., we leverage over 90
years of collective experience to help victims of
truck accidents pursue the compensation they need and deserve. Because accidents involving
commercial trucks and tractor-trailers often result in
catastrophic injuries, if not death, we understand the elevated needs of our clients, and fight
aggressively to ensure the appropriate party is held accountable.
Because every case is different, the party that can be held liable for
your trucking accident will always depend on the unique facts involved.
When conducting investigations, our legal team explores all possible avenues
for highlighting fault and liability, as trucking wrecks can be caused
by many different factors. Below are a few examples of parties commonly
held liable for truck accidents:
Truck Driver – Driver error is a leading cause of truck accidents, and often
a result of negligence. When truckers fail to uphold their duty of safely
operating their rig, they place the public in danger, and can be held
responsible for any harm they cause in preventable wrecks. Speeding, unsafe
lane changes, and other traffic violations are common examples of driver
error. Truckers may also be held liable for negligence when they fail
to abide by safety regulations, including drug and alcohol policies and
Hours-of-Service rules that require mandatory rest breaks in order to
prevent fatigue, among others.
Trucking Company – Trucking companies are often responsible for the conduct of their
employees, including the drivers who operate their fleet. Should a trucking
operator negligently hire or retain a driver with a history of driving
violations, drug or alcohol problems, insufficient training or licensing,
and medical conditions that would preclude them from health certifications,
they can potentially be held liable for damages caused by those unfit
truckers. Additionally, trucking companies must comply with many safety
regulations designed to protect the public from unreasonable danger, including
regular vehicle maintenance, proper cargo loading and securement, and
rules over the amount of hours their truckers are allowed to work and
be behind the wheel. When trucking companies fail to abide by these standards
due to their negligence or prioritization of profits over people, victims
have the right to hold them accountable.
Maintenance Company – Some trucking operators choose to contract out maintenance work
to third party companies. These companies are tasked with performing regular
vehicle inspections and maintenance, and have an obligation to ensure
any hazardous issues they knew or should have known about are promptly
addressed and remedied. When they fail to address such hazards, such as
old brakes, aging tires, or other dangerous issues, they and / or the
trucking operator with whom they contract could be held liable. Additionally,
maintenance companies should employ licensed and certified professionals,
and conduct their work in accordance to applicable laws and regulations.
Product Manufacturer – Not all truck accidents result from driver error or the negligence
of trucking operators; some are beyond their control. This is especially
true in the case of defective products and auto parts that may fail, malfunction,
and cause or contribute to accidents that would otherwise not have happened
had they functioned properly. Under
product liability laws, manufacturers can be held liable for defectively designed parts
and products, as well as for manufacturing products with poor quality
materials, poor workmanship, or poor oversight and safety testing.
Determining who can be held liable for a truck accident is a challenging
task that requires resources, professional connections with experts, and
meticulous investigation – and it is only half the battle. Even
when an appropriate party is found to be at fault, victims must fight
aggressively in order to compel payment of the recoveries they need and
deserve. This is because these corporations, and their commercial insurance
providers, are businesses focused on their bottom line. They want to pay
as little as they can to victims who file claims. By working with our
legal team, you can gain the support and representation you need to create
a level playing field and pursue the compensation to which you are entitled.
Our award-winning truck accident attorneys serve clients throughout Washington,
DC, Virginia, and Maryland.
Contact us for a FREE consultation.