So you have been involved in an accident with an 18-Wheeler. What now? Who is responsible? Unlike car accidents, which are usually caused by some combination of driver error, vehicle malfunction or road conditions, accidents involving large commercial trucks may have many other contributing factors that are unique to the trucking industry.
In order to establish liability and recover compensation, it is first necessary to identify every possible person or business entity responsible for the crash. Potential defendants in a truck accident case may include:
Truck Driver – Commercial truck drivers are responsible for following the same driving rules as all other drivers. These rules include avoidance of dangerous driving behaviors such as speeding, aggressive driving, texting while driving, and driving under the influence. Truck drivers must also adhere to additional standards as directed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. This includes following hours of service rules, and maintaining detailed records regarding driving times and vehicle inspection.
Trucking Company – Trucking companies must ensure that the drivers they employ are qualified and properly licensed. This includes conducting background checks and random screenings for drug or alcohol abuse. Furthermore, employers are prohibited from requiring or encouraging drivers to break federal safety regulations. Additionally, the trucking company is responsible for properly training their drivers before and after they get out on the highway.
If you or someone you know has been injured in an accident involving a commercial vehicle, contact an attorney at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner by calling 713-396-3964 or toll free at 800-594-4884.