Several parties may be held legally responsible, or liable, for a truck accident. Determining who should be held liable requires an independent investigation of the crash.
If a truck driver is at fault for an accident, the driver may be held liable for the losses you have suffered. A trucker’s liability may be established by showing that a violation (or many violations) of Florida motor vehicle laws and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) rules caused the crash. For example, the driver may have violated hours of service regulations that dictate the number of hours a driver may spend behind the wheel (and which are aimed at preventing fatigued drivers from being on the road).
The trucking company, or carrier, can be held liable for the negligent acts of its drivers as well as for its own negligent or reckless acts. For instance, a carrier may have hired a dangerous driver because the carrier simply neglected to check the driver’s records. In some cases, carriers are found to have violated state and federal rules that require routine inspection, maintenance and repair of their tractor-trailers.
Large carriers may outsource a variety of company operations, from hiring and background checks to securing and loading cargo. These vendors may be liable if they were negligent in their duties, and that negligence caused a crash.
In other cases, an accident may have been caused by defective parts on the truck such as brakes, tires, steering components or trailer coupling systems. If the truck or its parts were defective from the start, the manufacturer may be held responsible for the accident through a product liability lawsuit.
An experienced truck accident attorney will conduct a thorough investigation, carefully analyze the evidence and seek just compensation from all potential defendants.