Who is at fault in a truck accident?

Auto Accident Lawyer Highland Beach, FL

The short answer is potentially a lot of different people and companies.  Trucks are vital to the nation’s economy by making sure that packages are delivered on time to grocery store shelves being stocked. Trucks are also giant vehicles that easily dwarf passenger cars and trucks and can cause catastrophic damage, especially in accidents that occur at high speeds.

The question of who is at fault when a truck accident occurs is extremely important since most of the time, the damages and costs of these accidents will be very, very high. It is also a very complex question because many different people in the chain could have contributed to the final error that caused the accident.

Of course, one of the most obvious directions to look first at is the driver of the truck.  There are so many ways in which a truck driver can cause an accident from following too closely to inattentive driving to falling asleep at the wheel.  Drivers can also become incapacitated by various medical conditions including heart attacks, strokes, or diabetic emergencies. This is why drivers are required to have physicals to ensure that they are healthy enough to drive a truck.  Any one or a combination of these factors can lead to an accident.

There are other ways, however, in which the driver can still be at fault even if they were following the rules of the road, were not distracted, and were wide awake.  If the driver failed to check the weight, tires, or security of the load, any one of these factors can cause an accident. Underinflated tires, shifting loads, or even loads that are not secured in open top trailers can all cause accidents.

The blame may not stop with the driver. What if the crew that loaded the truck was not properly supervised or trained in loading and the load then shifted causing the truck to tip over onto a car? What if the owner of the trailer refused to conduct proper maintenance on the trailer which would have revealed aging tires ripe for a blowout? What if the driver’s employer insisted that he work an extra shift without appropriate rest time and he fell asleep at the wheel as a result? What if the doctor doing the physical on the driver missed a medical issue that resulted in the driver having a heart attack on the road?

It’s also very possible that the truck itself has some defect that caused the crash. In this case, the fault would lie with the manufacturer. What if the mechanic who performed the last service failed to secure a bolt which finally came loose?

Even more remote, but still plausible, is the notion that another driver actually caused the accident.  What if a third party cut off the truck driver or swerved into their lane causing the truck to swerve to avoid a collision?  

Truck accidents are extremely complex not only because of the level of damages that are usually caused but also because assignment of fault for the accident must take into account numerous obvious and not so obvious factors. An auto accident lawyer Highland Beach, FL offers at The Law Office of Eric H. Luckman, P.C. can help you determine fault for the accident you were involved in and discuss your options.