Responsibility In a Trucking Accident

A truck accident can be a much more severe accident than your standard car accident. No matter the severity of a trucking accident, there are some things the average motorist should know.

Who Is Responsible for a Truck Accident

Fault can lie in a number of places. While it is natural to point the finger at the driver of the truck, sometimes fault is found elsewhere. For example, a malfunction in the truck can mean that the maker of the tires or brakes is to blame. Similarly, a cargo loading company may be responsible for negligently loading cargo improperly. If a trucker is driving a truck or trailer owned by another party, a third party might be responsible. No matter what, in the event of an accident with the truck, investigation into all these options will be necessary.

Truck Accident Law

Trucking companies have gone to great lengths to create distance between their company and the truck itself, its parts, the cargo, and the driver. Since many truckers are independent contractors and many trucking companies lease and do not own the rigs they put on the road, trucking companies distanced themselves from the negligence of their drivers.

Even so, nationwide federal laws mandate that if a company owns the permit, it is responsible for any accident that takes place. Even if a trucking company leases the equipment and doesn’t directly employ the driver, they still own the placard (that must be displayed in the truck). That placard has the permit numbers. Therefore, if a company is attached to permit numbers, they are responsible for accidents that occur with that permit number.

Obtaining Trucking Accident Information

A truck inspector is called to the scene in many truck accidents. The inspector’s report is a vital component to uncovering the facts of any particular trucking accident. The report will cover the condition of the trailer and truck, and in many cases, the “black box” information. These boxes record speed, a driver’s driving habits, how often they use their breaks, and how long they’ve been driving. The inspector’s report can be obtained from the reconstruction division of the state police. If you’re in a truck accident make sure you request this information.

You Need A Knowledgeable Attorney

Ultimately, a good Virginia truck accident attorney will go the extra mile to make sure that your case is fully researched.  If you or a loved one has been injured by a truck give us a call at 804-733-3100 to contact us in Petersburg, or 804-643-3100 to contact us in Richmond.  We are here to help—it’s what we’ve been doing for over 30 years.