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Accidents occur every day, some no more than small fender-benders, others with substantial damages and potential fatalities. Accidents with trucks tend to side on the latter, as their heavy weights and large sizes can cause immense damage if something goes wrong on the road.

Due to their greater risks, state and federal laws are in place to regulate the operating power of a truck and increase safety. These laws mean that accidents with trucks involve more complex aspects surrounding liability than the average private car. If you’re ever in an accident with a truck that caused an injury, filing a claim will require understanding those aspects if you want to succeed in receiving compensation.

Trucking Laws

Laws can vary from state to state, but they generally cover the same ground pertaining to trucks and can involve:

  • Weight restrictions
  • Driver training and experience
  • Use of alcohol and other drugs
  • Licensing
  • Minimum rest periods for drivers
  • Proper loading of cargo
  • Speed limits
  • Proper truck maintenance

If it’s proven that a violation of one or more of these statutes caused a crash, then those laws may determine whether the truck driver, company or manufacturer was at fault and therefore liable for any damages.

Driver Liability

The negligence of a driver can recklessly threaten the safety of others on the road. If it’s proven that a driver was under the influence of alcohol or other drugs, speeding or swerving carelessly, improperly trained, lacking correct licensing, or overly fatigued, he or she may be held accountable for the accident. If you were injured due to his or her disregard to safety, you may be able to file a claim against him or her for your losses.

Company Liability

It is the truck company’s responsibility to look after the condition of the truck and ensure it is functioning at a safe level. A failure to complete proper maintenance, regular inspections or fix damages could result in a crash that the company is then liable for. Anyone injured in the crash may file a claim against the company for ignoring their responsibilities.

Manufacturer Liability

In some cases, a malfunction in the truck’s systems may occur, such as a brake failure that is not the result of improper maintenance. If this causes a crash, the manufacturer may be found guilty of releasing a defective product.

If you are uncertain of what liability relates to your case and how it may affect the outcome of your settlement, speak to a Woodland Hills trucking accident lawyer. His or her knowledge of similar accidents can help determine if you should file a claim and against whom.

Thanks to Barry P. Goldberg for their insight into personal injury cases and how truck accident liability works.

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