A trucking accident is almost always severe considering its size compared to other vehicles. Accidents caused by a reckless or negligent truck driver always carries a wide range of consequences ranging from medical bills, lost wages to physical and emotional trauma. It is worth noting that an average passenger car weighs 4,000 pounds as opposed to the more than 80,000 pounds of a semi-truck. So when a car gets involved in a crash with a truck, the result is almost always devastating.
When trying to recover the damages, cases would always point at who was responsible for the collision. While the truck driver is often considered as the liable party, this will not always be the case. There are other parties that could contribute to the accident. For example, the accident may have been due to a defective brake, then the fault should not be pointed on the driver but the manufacturer of the truck who failed to ensure that the brake was in good working order.
There were even times when trucking companies tried to avoid any responsibility for trucking accidents. There are several ways they can do this:
First, they apply for the required permits to operate the truck. The company does not own the tractor, trailer, or equipment and instead leases them from another company. They also do not employ the truck driver but hires them as independent contractors from the leasing company.
The trucking company will then give the leasing company its name and its permit number. Once the truck gets involved in an accident, the trucking company will then argue that the driver is not their employee and they do not own the equipment. To remedy such situation from happening, Federal laws now make trucking companies liable for any accidents whether or not the driver is an employee or independent contractor.
When proving liability, the plaintiff must show that the defendants erred in their duty of care and hence should be made to pay for any damages.