Understanding Truck Accident Liability: When is a Company Liable?

Jul 14, 2023
  • Truck accidents can have devastating consequences, often resulting in severe injuries and property damage. Determining liability in such cases can be complex, especially when it involves a trucking company. If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck accident, it is crucial to understand when a company may be held liable. In this blog post, we will delve into the factors that determine truck accident liability and provide valuable insights to help you navigate through this challenging situation.

    Negligent Hiring and Training:

    Trucking companies have a responsibility to hire qualified and competent drivers. If they fail to conduct proper background checks, including verifying driving records, drug tests, and employment history, they may be held liable for negligent hiring. Moreover, inadequate training or failure to provide ongoing training can contribute to accidents, making the company responsible for its negligence.

    Negligent Supervision and Maintenance:

    Trucking companies must ensure that their drivers comply with federal regulations regarding driving hours, rest periods, and maintenance checks. If a trucking company fails to monitor and supervise their drivers adequately, such as pushing them to exceed hours of service limits, they may be held responsible for accidents resulting from driver fatigue or other related issues. Additionally, if a company neglects routine maintenance and inspections of their vehicles, leading to mechanical failures, they may also be deemed liable.

    Vicarious Liability:

    Under the legal principle of vicarious liability, trucking companies can be held responsible for the actions of their employees (drivers) during the course of employment. If a driver causes an accident while on duty, performing work-related tasks, or driving a company-owned truck, the trucking company can be held liable for the damages caused by the accident.

    Failure to Comply with Safety Regulations:

    The trucking industry is subject to numerous safety regulations imposed by federal and state authorities. Non-compliance with these regulations can significantly increase the risk of accidents and subsequent liability for trucking companies. Violations such as overloaded or improperly secured cargo, failure to properly maintain logbooks, or disregarding traffic laws can establish the company’s liability in case of an accident.

    Independent Contractor Misclassification:

    In some cases, trucking companies may classify their drivers as independent contractors to avoid certain liabilities. However, if the company exercises significant control over the driver’s actions, such as dictating working hours, routes, and vehicle maintenance, the court may reclassify the driver as an employee. In such instances, the trucking company can be held accountable for the driver’s actions, making them liable for any accidents caused by their negligence.

    If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck accident, Boesen Law is here to help. Our team of experienced personal injury attorneys in Denver, CO, specializes in truck accident cases. Contact us today for a free consultation and let us fight for the compensation you deserve.