Who is At-Fault for a Semi-Truck Accident?
Truck Accident Attorney Serving Victims in New Orleans and Louisiana
Semi-truck accidents are much more common than you might realize. Semi-truck accidents can happen because of a variety of reasons including driver negligence. While the motor vehicle operator could be at fault, a vast majority of semi-truck and passenger vehicle accidents occur because of the truck driver’s negligence.
Commercial vehicles weigh more than the average passenger vehicle – averaging about 16,000 to 80,000 pounds. When such a large vehicle is traveling at high speeds, an accident could be devastating. Due to their tremendous weight and size, truck accidents are more likely to cause catastrophic injuries or fatalities.
Anyone injured in a trucking accident should explore their options with an accident attorney with experience in truck accidents. The personal injury attorneys at the Shlosman Law Firm have litigated numerous serious truck accidents where our client’s suffered traumatic and catastrophic injuries.
The Duty of Care: Who Owes It?
A motor vehicle operator has a duty of care to follow the rules of the road and exercise caution. That means looking out for other vehicles and pedestrians. It also means complying with traffic laws, and doing what they can to avoid accidents. Semi-truck drivers owe the other occupants of the road the highest standard of care.
Semi-truck drivers have further duties, which include following all state and federal regulations. This includes limiting driving time to comply with federal regulations and maintaining their semi-truck.
Any time a semi-truck driver violates federal or state laws, courts can automatically consider them or their employer negligent. This is known as Negligence Per Se and can be applied if three elements are established. 1) violation of a statute 2) cause in fact 3) damages.
Who is At-Fault for the Breach of Duty?
While the driver might have breached his or her duty by ignoring regulations, they are not the only defendant possible in this type of incident. Other parties that may be considered “at-fault” in a semi-truck accident include:
- Employers – The employer of the truck driver may be at fault. Especially if they force their driver to ignore or break federal regulations and driving hours. Also, employers that do not properly screen, train, or verify CDL licenses could be held liable.
- Maintenance Crews – If a safety feature malfunctions on the semi-truck, the employer and the company responsible for maintaining that truck could also be liable.
- Manufacturer – When a component of the semi-truck is faulty due to manufacturing or assembly, then the company responsible for the faulty product would be liable for the accident. For example, if a company has manufactured defective air brakes which caused an accident, they would be held liable for injuries.
Holding Semi-Truck Drivers and Employers Responsible
Trucking cases are more complicated than your typical auto accident case.
If in an accident with a semi-truck, contact a New Orleans injury attorney from Shlosman Law Firm to explore your options. Our personal injury lawyers can help gather evidence, investigate the cause, and identify all potential defendants so that you get maximum compensation for your injuries.