A commercial truck could be a delivery truck, a big rig, an 18-wheeler or a tanker unit. Any one of those could create the same challenges for any motorist that might collide with that one of those named vehicles.
Who could be liable for the damages caused by such an accident?
• The driver
• The driver’s employer
• The truck’s owner
• Any agency that had leased the truck to the trucking company
• The owner of the cargo and the loader
• A truck maintenance company
How could an injured victim deal with that listing of all those that might be held responsible for the accident?
The driver would have been negligent if he had consumed alcohol, or had taken drugs, before getting behind the steering wheel. The same would be true if the driver’s actions had caused him to lose control of the vehicle.
Still, evidence of the driver’s negligence would not have to mean that the driver should be held liable.
The driver might have been working for a trucking company. In that case, the driver’s employer could be held liable. Maybe that employer had failed to provide each of the company’s employees with the proper amount of training.
A lawyer would know what sort of negligent actions the truck’s owner might have taken. Perhaps that same owner failed to arrange for a thorough inspection of the commercial vehicle, before it was scheduled to be on the road. Maybe the owner chose to use a cheap maintenance company, one that failed to find and fix any mechanical problem.
What about the leasing agency, how could that have carried out a negligent act? If it had failed to share the customer with all the facts about the leased truck, then that would be an example of negligence.
How might the owner of the cargo and the loader have contributed to the accident? Maybe the owner of the cargo could not find a loader and asked the trucking company to have the driver do the loading. The driver’s training had certainly not included a lesson about how to load cargo. A quick lesson might not have provided sufficient guidance.
A good maintenance company should find any problem, and should then fix it properly. A maintenance company that had failed to carry out those same tasks could have forced the driver to handle a truck with a broken part. That could have caused the driver to lose control of that poorly maintained vehicle.
A truck lawyer could sort through all of those possibilities, searching for the responsible party.