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Trucking Accidents: Who is Really Liable?

If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident, it is usually fairly simple to determine which driver was at fault.  In the case of a trucking accident, however, it tends to be a lot more complicated to figure out what exactly caused the accident and, therefore, who should be held liable.  It is important to make a correct determination of liability for the accident to ensure you receive the maximum possible settlement to reimburse you for your injuries.  A Fayette County trucking accident attorney can help you make such a determination.

When a commercial truck travels the highways, there are many parties involved, such as:

  • The driver
  • The owner of the truck (if different from the driver)
  • The contracting company
  • The manufacturer of the truck or tires on the truck
  • The person who loaded the truck’s cargo
  • Any recent or relevant mechanics or safety inspectors

Among common causes of trucking accidents include driver error, such as breaking laws, driving while fatigued, distracted driving, unfamiliarity with roads or road conditions, etc., and equipment problems, such as tire blowouts, failing brakes, trailer detachment, faulty lights, or transmission failure.

Because consumers often have little to no insight into the trucking industry, it can be difficult to understand who was responsible for the accident.  Furthermore, trucking companies often attempt to avoid any liability by pointing fingers at the driver or manufacturer.  Luckily, laws put in place by the United States Department of Transportation and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration have stated that a company that has a trucking permit and that displays its name on a truck is liable for any accidents involving that truck, regardless of the driver’s status of independent contractor.  However, these laws can be complicated and difficult to navigate for an individual with no trucking or legal experience.

Determining who is liable is especially important in trucking accidents because of the severe injuries that may potentially occur in an accident with a commercial truck.  A Fayette County trucking accident attorney is able help you make that determination.  If you are involved in a trucking accident, do not hesitate to call The Law Offices of Shane Smith to discuss your case at (770) 487-8999.


Shane Smith
Advocate for the Seriously Injured in Georgia