An accident caused by a truck or a 16-wheel vehicle has major consequences.
These accidents can be devastating, both for the victim and the vehicle.
Also, when it comes to claiming compensation, these accidents are dealt with differently compared to car accidents.
Here is everything about truck accident liability and its laws from the point of view of a Rogers truck accident attorney.
Rogers, Arkansas, follows an ‘at fault’ state laws regarding auto or truck accidents.
This means the party at fault for causing the accident is also responsible for paying the damages caused, i.e., providing compensation.
When it comes to truck accidents, various factors could attribute to the accident, like truck driver’s negligence, overtime, drowsiness, inexperience, overloaded vehicle, and many other reasons.
There are greater chances that truck drivers are held liable for the accident when it comes to truck accidents.
Also, in Rogers, truck accident liability is affected by the ‘modified comparative fault’ law.
This law is applied when both the drivers involved in the accident are partially at fault for the accident.
The fault is then decided based on percentage, considering the factors contributing to the accident.
If both the drivers are found 50% at fault, the truck accident victim is barred from claiming compensation.
On the contrary, if the victim is found 20% liable for the accident, they will be entitled to receive 80% of the total compensation amount determined.
It is usually difficult to determine the liability in a truck accident as there are multiple parties behind a commercial truck being on the road.
You cannot outrightly sue a truck driver in a truck accident as he doesn’t own the truck.
The truck is owned by the trucking company. At times, the liability may go as deep to the truck manufacturer as well.
The truck accident liability thus highly depends on the reason for the accident.
If the truck accident is caused due to overtime, the trucking company, i.e., the truck driver’s company, is held liable.
If the accident occurred due to malfunctioning like break failure etc., the truck repairing service or truck manufacturer is held liable and so on.
Here are some of the parties that can be held liable in the truck accident in Rogers, Arkansas:
A cargo loader is an individual that loads cargo onto the truck.
If the truck accident is caused due to overload of cargo, the truck being overturned due to excess cargo, the responsibility of the accident could be directed towards cargo loaders.
They loaded the cargo more than the truck’s weight, or they loaded it inappropriately without following proper norms of cargo loading.
If the truck accident is caused due to a faulty part, it won’t take long to hold the product manufacturer liable for the accident.
If there was a brake failure or the accident was caused due to a reason that could have been averted if the part didn’t malfunction, the victim can sue the part manufacturer to recover the damages.
The truck owner, i.e., the person under whose name the truck is registered, is also held liable in certain cases.
If it’s a hit-and-run case and the truck driver cannot be tracked, the truck owner has to take responsibility for the accident.
The trucking company is the one for whom the truck drivers work.
These companies are usually the transportation companies with a number of trucks operating under them.
They are responsible for hiring a suitable truck driver to drive commercial trucks.
This is the same as in a taxi/cab service.
If a taxi driver/cab driver causes an accident, a taxi service company like Uber is held liable for the accident.
Apart from the cargo loaders, there are cargo owners as well.
Cargo owners are the ones that own the cargo that was loaded on the truck.
This again is feasible if the accident was caused due to cargo spillage, overloaded cargo, or other related reasons.
The reasons for being liable could be improper packaging of cargo, improper instructions given to cargo loaders, lack of proper labeling on cargo (like handle with care, this side up labeling) etc.
All commercial motor vehicles like trucks have to undergo inspection if they weigh more than 10,000 pounds.
It is only when the loaded truck passes all levels of inspection that the truck is allowed to be on the road.
This inspection is done by the DOT (Department of transportation) inspector.
It’s a seven-level inspection that checks driver’s driving licenses, safety protocols, truck parts like brakes, seatbelts, headlamps, tires etc..
It conducts walk round driver inspection and vehicle only inspection (without the driver present) and so on.
Thus, inspectors can also be held liable for corrupted inspection and providing a green flag to a truck in poor condition.
Third-party contractors involve all the other parties involved in the management of commercial trucks.
These could be the insurance company under which the truck was insured.
Lastly, the direct fault of the truck accident usually falls on the truck driver.
Your lawyer can prove the truck driver responsible if the accident is caused due to driving negligence, speeding, driving under the influence, driving with drowsiness, etc.
In a truck accident, more than one party can be held liable.
Therefore, hiring a personal injury attorney Rogers, Arkansas, to help you with your case is recommended.
Like in every auto accident, the insurance companies play an important role for the defending party.
There are insurance adjusters working on their behalf whose only job is to minimize the claimed compensation amount.
If your case is not straightforward, you should consult an attorney for advice.
Furthermore, an attorney manages everything on your behalf, from talking to the insurance company, determining the party liable, filing the case, presenting your case, and seeking compensation.