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When can you hold a trucking company liable for a crash?

On Behalf of | Oct 11, 2021 | Personal Injury

If you’re involved in a crash with a tractor-trailer, you might initially assume that you’d hold the trucker liable for any injuries you suffered. While that’s generally the case, that isn’t always the only entity that you may be able to hold liable for your injuries. There’s also their employer — the trucking company.

There are a few different situations in which you might be able to hold a trucking company liable for your injuries, several of which are described below.

A pre-trip inspection or maintenance doesn’t occur

Federal officials require truckers to perform pre-trip inspections before taking off and at different intervals along the trip. If there’s documentable proof that a trucking company discouraged truckers from performing this inspection, then that may give way to a valid reason you can hold both parties liable for your injuries.

There are also all different arrangements whereby a fleet company or the trucker oneself may own their tractor-trailer and be responsible for maintaining it. If that responsibility is the fleet company’s and they fail to uphold their obligations, then you might be able to hold them liable for their failures.

The trucking company doesn’t thoroughly vet or train its truckers

There are many instances in which fleet companies have such a shortage of drivers that they may hire individuals who aren’t best suited for the role. On top of that, they may provide them with inadequate training, thus making their truckers even more dangerous to share the road with.

Rewarding truckers for unsafe driving

Many fleet companies place unrealistic bids to secure a job. This forces their drivers to speed, not take mandated rest breaks or operate their trucks when they’re tired. Fleet companies even reward their truckers for getting a job done quicker than expected. While this may be a win-win for the trucker and the fleet company, it puts the motorists who share the roadway at significant risk of getting hurt or dying.

Timing is critical in each of the scenarios described above. You must take swift action to preserve any evidence of a trucking company’s wrongdoing because they often seek to destroy it once they discover litigation is on the horizon. Knowing what to ask for is key.