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Determining Liability in a Truck Accident Case

Posted on May 20, 2019 in

If you’ve been injured in a truck accident caused by the negligence of another driver, you may be entitled to recover compensation for your damages. However, it’s important to understand that these cases are more complex than other vehicle accident lawsuits for a variety of reasons:

  • There are a variety of state and federal laws that govern the trucking industry, and the specifics of your accident may dictate which of these laws apply to your case
  • Multiple agencies are involved in the enforcement of these laws and regulations
  • Often, the actions of multiple parties may have contributed to the cause of the accident

As a result, it can often be complicated to determine the right parties to hold liable in your truck accident case. The attorneys at the Jensen Phelan Law Firm have over 50 years of combined experience handling truck accident cases, and we understand the complex laws which govern these claims. We’ll evaluate every aspect of your accident in order to ensure that all liable parties are held accountable for your injuries.

 Potential Liable Parties in a Truck Accident Case

truck accident involving a box truck and a passenger carDepending on the specifics of your accident, one or more of the following parties may potentially be held liable for your damages:

  • Truck driver – The truck driver may be liable for your damages if he failed to adhere to truck driver regulations, committed traffic infractions or was driving while intoxicated.
  • Trucking company – There are many ways a trucking company may be liable for your damages. They may have been negligent in vetting the qualifications of the drivers they hire, failed to provide the proper training for their drivers, or set delivery schedules which force drivers to violate federally mandated hours of service regulations in order to meet these deadlines.
  • Truck manufacturer – When a manufacturing defect causes a truck to malfunction on the highway, it can result in catastrophic accidents.
  • Parts manufacturer – Sometimes the defect is isolated to a specific part, not the design or construction of the entire truck. In these situations, the part manufacturer may be liable for your damages.
  • Truck equipment owner or leasing company – The truck’s owner or leasing company can be held liable if they are negligent in maintaining the vehicle properly.
  • Freight or loading company – Failing to load the truck properly can result in an unbalanced vehicle. If this is the cause of the truck accident, the freight or loading company may be held liable for your damages.

Proving Liability in Your Truck Accident Case

Our attorneys will carefully investigate your accident in order to determine which of these parties is responsible for your damages. Some of the evidence we may use to prove liability in your truck accident case may include:

  • Truck accident report – The police report filled out at the time of the accident may contain statements regarding who was at fault for the collision.
  • Truck driver’s record – If the truck driver has received numerous traffic citations, it may indicate that the trucking company was negligent in hiring this driver or continuing to work with him after he received these violations.
  • Truck driver’s log – By law, truck drivers must keep a log documenting all time on and off duty. Our lawyers will evaluate this logbook to detect signs that an “hours of service” violation took place.
  • Truck maintenance records – These records will show how often the vehicle was maintained, whether all necessary routine maintenance items (brakes, oil change, tires, etc.) were up-to-date, and whether this vehicle has experienced recurring issues which had never been adequately fixed.
  • “Black box” data – All trucks are equipped with an electronic module known as a “black box.” These devices record the truck’s driving speed, braking patterns and other important data that may shed light on the cause of the accident.
  • Fuel receipts – Fuel receipts can help verify the route taken, the average driving speed, and how many hours the driver was actually behind the wheel. This information can be used to identify discrepancies in the truck driver’s logbook.

Contact our Prescott Truck Accident Lawyers

Please contact the Jensen Phelan Law Firm using the form on this page or call (928) 778-2660 today to schedule your complimentary truck accident consultation. We serve clients in Prescott, Cottonwood, and the surrounding areas of Arizona.