Truck accidents are often devastating for drivers and passengers traveling in cars, pickup trucks, and SUVs. That’s because semi-trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds and are 60 or more feet in length when hauling trailers. The sheer size difference between tractor-trailers and even the largest passenger vehicles means that occupants of the latter are at high risk of suffering debilitating, disabling, and even life-threatening injuries during accidents.
Like all types of accidents that are caused by negligence, truck accident victims can file compensation claims for their accident-related expenses, including their medical bills and lost wages. But unlike car accidents where fault is most often assigned to the other driver, truck accidents can have multiple liable parties.
4 Parties That Can Cause or Contribute to Truck Accidents
At Parish DeVaughn, we’ve investigated many truck accident claims over the years. During that time, we’ve found that an overwhelmingly majority are caused by four parties, and the first three often involve violations of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) guidelines:
- Truck drivers—Truck drivers are required to not only follow all “standard” rules of the road, such as obeying the speed limit, but they also must follow guidelines established by the FMCSA. Those guidelines include rest and time off requirements, passing driving tests and medical exams, and maintaining a clean driving record.
- Truck companies—Countless companies throughout the U.S. rely on big trucks to transport their goods locally, regionally, or nationally. Like truck drivers, they’re also required to abide by FMCSA rules, including abiding by weight limits, proper loading and unloading procedures, and employee testing and background checking.
- Truck owners—Sometimes big trucks are owned by third parties that are separate from the drivers who operate them and the companies that use them. The FMCSA also has a hand in their responsibilities, which include maintaining their trucks to be safe and road-worthy and keeping records that indicate when inspections, repairs, and replacements are completed.
- Other drivers—When drivers are negligent or reckless, they can cause accidents that may or may not even involve their own vehicles. Some truck accidents occur because drivers of other passenger or commercial vehicles take unnecessary risks behind the wheel, causing a chain reaction of events that result in serious truck crashes.
Need Help after a Truck Accident? Call Parrish DeVaughn.
Truck accidents are legally complex due to the number of parties that can be considered responsible. Sometimes multiple parties may share liability, making it difficult for victims to get the compensation they deserve.