When can commercial truck owners be held liable for crashes?

by | Nov 8, 2019 | truck accidents

Car vs. commercial truck crashes can be devastating for those in the smaller vehicle. People who are fortunate enough to survive may be dealing with severe injuries that require long-term care. Taking legal action against the truck driver who caused the crash may not provide victims and their families with nearly enough compensation to cover the expenses they’re facing.

However, in many cases, the companies that own the trucks bear some responsibility and liability for the crash. They have a duty to ensure the safety of their trucks and their drivers. These companies are also required to comply with state and federal laws that are in place to make the commercial trucking industry safer for everyone on the road. When they violate these laws, they can and should be held liable.

These laws cover many aspects of trucking. Among them are the following:

Commercial driver licenses (CDLs)

Drivers need to have the appropriate license to operate the truck they’re driving. They need to meet the minimum required age and have a valid license.

Hours of service

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) sets federal regulations for how many hours a commercial truck driver can be behind the wheel each day and over a week. These regulations are in place to ensure that drivers get enough rest in between their trips. When these rules are violated, companies can face fines and penalties as well as lawsuits by victims of crashes caused by drowsy

Quality control

Companies also need to abide by laws regarding the manufacturing and repair of their trucks. If a commercial truck that hasn’t undergone regular maintenance or check-ups or doesn’t have the proper safety equipment causes a crash, the company that owns it can be held liable.

Weight restrictions

The maximum weight of the cargo on a truck is based on its size. Trucks are required to be weighed to ensure that they aren’t exceeding their limits and causing a danger on the road. A truck that is over its weight limit or not weighed as required can be a liability for a company.

If you or a loved one has been the victim of a crash caused by a commercial truck, it’s essential to investigate the truck and driver thoroughly. An experienced attorney can help make sure that a thorough investigation is done so that all individuals and entities bearing responsibility for the crash can be held liable.