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Are truck drivers liable for damage in a truck collision case?

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A truck crash is a serious matter. The sheer size and weight of a commercial truck puts the driver of a smaller vehicle at a great disadvantage. Thus causing more damage, and far more severe injuries. Yet, the number of larger trucks on the roads today somehow seems to have increased, and so too have the speeds at which they travel.

If you or a loved one have been involved in a truck crash, one of the first things you should do after getting a full medical checkup is reach out to a New York City truck accident attorney. You have the right to recover compensation from the liable party, and the best way to obtain it is with legal representation. And here’s how…

Are truck drivers responsible for damages when there is an incident?

When a truck driver’s negligence causes an collision, they are responsible. In some cases, the company the driver works for may also be found liable. However, the drivers and the trucking companies they work for carry commercial liability insurance. This means that the insurance company would have to be the one that pays for the damages. To protect their interests, these insurance companies will do everything in their power to find a way to deny the claim, or reduce the amount that they are required to pay out for damages and losses.

That is why it is essential to have an aggressive lawyer on your side. Otherwise, you may be forced to accept a low offer when the case is closed.

Are there other parties who might be responsible for a truck accident?

Besides the truck driver and the company they work for, other entities can be held legally responsible for a truck crash or incident.

These include:

  • The manufacturer of the vehicle or its equipment
  • Any vendor who serves the truck company
  • The owner of the freight being transported
  • Whoever loaded the truck
  • Those responsible for the maintenance of the truck
  • Local governments or contractors responsible for maintaining and managing the roadways

Any one of these parties can be held liable when there is a truck crash. A lawyer specializing in these sorts of scenarios can gather the necessary evidence to uncover who might be liable, and hold them legally responsible for their actions.

How is fault determined in truck crash cases?

Different kinds of evidence can be used to determine liability after a truck crash.

Some evidence may include:

  • Photographs or videos from the scene of the incident
  • Police reports
  • Medical records
  • Examination of the damage that the truck and other vehicles sustained
  • Driver’s logs
  • Recordings from devices within the truck

In some cases, your lawyer may consider it necessary to call upon a collision reconstruction specialist to uncover crucial forensic evidence that corroborates your account of the collision.

According to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, truck driver logs must show the time spent driving. Your lawyer may discover that the driver had been on the road for longer than they should have. The trucking company also has records about the truck itself and the maintenance it has received, how much weight it can carry, the weight of the cargo, and other important evidence to back up your claim.

What are the most common causes of truck accidents?

The truck driver may be found to have been negligent if they engaged in any of the following actions:

  • Excessive speed
  • Fatigued driving
  • Texting while driving
  • Driving and eating/drinking
  • Using alcohol or drugs while driving

Other causes that may correlate or cause a truck crash may be defective components, insufficient routine maintenance, overloaded cargo, or a load that was not tied down appropriately. The truck may also experience a tire blowout, brake system failure, steering issues, or other mechanical problems.

When multiple parties contribute to a crash, your lawyer can help determine who was responsible, which may result in the need to file multiple claims for compensation. Whatever the case, having a good lawyer that specializes in truck collision scenarios is vital to your safety and success.

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