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When is the Trucking Company Liable for a Truck Accident?

Person standing in front of a parked red truck

Truck accidents can have devastating consequences, leading to severe injuries, property damage, and even loss of life. When such accidents occur, it is crucial to determine who holds the liability. In this blog post, we will delve into the complexities of trucking company liability in truck accidents, providing you with valuable insights and actionable tips to navigate through this challenging situation.

Vicarious Liability

One of the primary ways a trucking company can be held liable for a truck accident is through the legal concept of "vicarious liability." This doctrine states that employers can be held responsible for the actions of their employees while performing job-related duties. Thus, if a truck driver causes an accident while on duty, the trucking company that employs them can also be deemed liable for any resulting damages.

However, it's important to note that vicarious liability does not apply if the truck driver was operating the vehicle outside the scope of their employment or engaged in illegal activities at the time of the accident.

Negligent Hiring and Training

Trucking companies have a duty to hire qualified and competent drivers who adhere to safety regulations. If a trucking company fails to conduct adequate background checks or hires drivers with poor driving records, a history of substance abuse, or inadequate training, they may be held liable for any accidents caused by these drivers.

Moreover, trucking companies must provide ongoing training and supervision to their drivers to ensure they stay updated on safety protocols and industry best practices. Failure to do so may result in the trucking company being deemed negligent and liable for any accidents caused by improperly trained drivers.

Negligent Maintenance and Inspection

Trucking companies are also responsible for maintaining their fleet in safe and roadworthy conditions. Regular inspections and proper maintenance of trucks are essential to ensure they are free from defects that could lead to accidents. If an accident occurs due to faulty brakes, worn-out tires, or other mechanical issues caused by inadequate maintenance, the trucking company may be held liable for their negligence.

Hours of Service Violations

Truck drivers are subject to strict federal regulations that limit the number of hours they can drive consecutively and within a certain period. These regulations, known as "hours of service," aim to prevent driver fatigue and reduce the likelihood of accidents caused by drowsy driving. If a trucking company knowingly pushes its drivers to violate these hours of service regulations, they may be held liable for any accidents that result from driver fatigue.

Improper Loading and Securement

Properly loading and securing cargo are critical for maintaining the stability and balance of a commercial truck. If a trucking company fails to follow industry standards for loading and securement and an accident occurs due to shifting cargo, the company may be held responsible for their negligence.

If you find yourself in need of expert legal guidance, our team at Tenn and Tenn is here to help. With years of experience in handling truck accident cases, we have the knowledge and resources to navigate the complexities of trucking company liability. Contact us today for a consultation to discuss your case and explore your legal options.

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