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When Is the Trucking Company Responsible for an Accident?

Published: Mar 16, 2020 in Drunk Driving, Truck Accident
cargo truck

When an injured party sues a trucking company for damages stemming from a truck accident, the major issue at hand is negligence. There are many possible causes of trucking accidents, which means there are several different possibilities for which parties can be found negligent.

Possible Negligent Parties

If you are involved in a truck accident with a commercial truck, you may be wondering who is responsible for damages. Determining fault can be complex, the following list contains possible negligent parties:

Driver: A driver may break traffic laws related to speeding, drunk driving, or falling asleep at the wheel. Any of these instances can cause an accident.

Truck or parts manufacturer: A defective vehicle may have caused the accident to occur.

Truck owner: A trucker may contract the use of a truck from a fleet owner. If that contracted truck is involved in an accident, the truck owner may be liable if there is some element of the accident that implicates the truck owner’s duty to properly maintain the vehicle.

Truck repair crew: Improper inspections or repairs can cause accidents as can repair issues left unaddressed.

Trucking company: Responsible hiring practices, employee training, or regulation enforcement are all obligations the trucking company must observe. The issue of vicarious liability means employers are responsible for employee conduct, this is not the case with contractors.

Cargo company: Truck accidents that involve shifting or falling cargo can indicate that the cargo company improperly loaded the shipment, which could cause or contribute to an accident. If cargo tumbles out of a truck and causes injuries or a weight shift causes the truck to go off course, the cargo company may be held liable.

Other Possibilities for Liability

If another car on the road causes the accident, the trucking company may be found to be free of liability for the accident. Likewise, if the truck driver had some part in causing the accident, the trucking company may be able to share fault or escape liability altogether.

Comparative Negligence

Illinois is one of several states that operate under the legal theory of comparative negligence, which assigns fault proportionally to each of the parties involved in the accident. Under comparative negligence, all parties whose actions contributed to the accident are evaluated based on which portion of the fault was theirs.

Under this theory, if you were more than 50 percent liable for your accident, you would not be able to collect damages for your injuries. In the same way, your percentage of liability will determine how much you may collect from other liable parties. For example, if you suffered $10,000 in damages in an accident for which you were found to be 30 percent responsible, you would only be able to collect $7,000 for your injuries.

Edwardsville Truck Accident Lawyers at The Cates Law Firm, LLC Recover Damages for Those Injured in Truck Accidents

If you were injured in an accident with a truck, you should speak to a knowledgeable attorney with experience taking on the trucking industry. Our accomplished Edwardsville truck accident lawyers at The Cates Law Firm, LLC have taken on all kinds of personal injury cases against trucking companies, truck manufacturers, and other parties in the industry. Contact us online or call us at 618-277-3644 to set up a free consultation to learn more about your options. Located in Swansea, Illinois, we serve clients in Belleville, Carbondale, East St. Louis, Granite City, Edwardsville, Chester, Waterloo, St. Louis, Madison County, St. Clair County, Monroe County, and Randolph County.