When commercial truck accidents happen, figuring out if any of the involved motorists was responsible for the crash can be one of the first steps to take as victims focus on recovering. While one or more drivers may be at fault for a given truck accident, it’s also crucial to consider whether the trucking company may be liable as well, as this can help victims determine:
- The potential value of their claim or case
- The next best steps take as they move forward.
To provide some examples of how and when fault for truck accidents can extend to parties beyond the involved motorists, below are some of the more common ways in which trucking companies can be (and often are) liable for truck accidents.
How Trucking Companies Can Contribute to Truck Crashes
Generally, trucking companies can be held liable for playing a role in causing truck accidents if or when it can be proven that they:
- Failed to properly screen drivers in the hiring process – Federal regulations require trucking companies to conduct background checks and drug tests on drivers during the hiring process. The reason for this is that this due diligence can help identify drivers who may have a history of reckless or impaired driving. So, if either or both of these steps are not taken and unscreened drivers are hired and end up causing crashes later, the trucking company that put a potentially dangerous driver on the road can be held liable.
- Failed to properly maintain trucks – The care that trucking companies are required to put into their driver screening and hiring efforts should also be extended to their fleet of vehicles, according to federal trucking regulations, as companies are required to regularly inspect and properly maintain their trucks. If they fail to do this and one of their trucks end up experiencing an equipment failure that causes an accident later, again, the trucking company can be responsible for compensating victims for their losses and damages.
- Failed to ensure drivers comply with trucking regulations – Drivers for a trucking company are required, themselves, to abide by federal trucking regulations, only some of which include hours-of-service rules, truck inspection/maintenance rules, cargo loading & weight regulations, etc. If trucking companies fail to ensure that their drivers are in compliance – or they fail to take action against drivers who are clearly not in compliance, again, the trucking company can be held liable if that noncompliant driver ends up getting into a truck crash.
Contact a Columbia SC Personal Injury Lawyer at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Attorneys at Law
If you have been injured in a truck accident – or in any type of traffic collision, contact a Columbia SC personal injury lawyer at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. for effective legal advocacy in your journey to financial recovery.
Call our firm at 866-881-8623 or email us via the contact form on this page to set up a free, no obligations initial consult with one of our lawyers. During this meeting, you can find out more about your rights, as well as how we can help you.
From our six office locations throughout South Carolina, our attorneys provide the highest quality legal services to injured people and families in Columbia, Alken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, Summerville, and throughout South Carolina.