Who is Responsible for Your Accident With an 18-Wheeler?

The accidents involving the 18-wheelers, which are the semis, trailers, or the tractor-trailers, can be the most nerve-racking. 

The fact that these vehicles are massive and heavy means that collisions often cause serious injuries (including fatalities). In the aftermath of such a traumatic event, one question looms large: Who is responsible?

The process of establishing who is liable for accidents involving 18-wheelers is quite complex, and it demands a detailed investigation. 

Unlike collisions between two passenger automobiles, it can be relatively easy to pinpoint the fault for the incident. 

Truck accidents, however, typically involve many other parties who may be equally responsible for the accident.

In this article, we will look at all the liable parties involved in a truck accident and why you need to hire an 18 wheeler truck accident lawyer in San Antonio to claim your damages. 

Who Is Accountable When You Have an Accident with an 18-Wheeler Truck?

  1. Trucking Companies 
  • Negligent Hiring or Training:

The trucking business should be held accountable for hiring competent and qualified drivers. 

If they have not conducted thorough background checks, have a history of violations or accidents, or hire drivers without the proper skills and training, they may face liabilities in the event of an accident caused by their employees’ incompetence.

  • Failure to Monitor or Supervise:

Even though hiring, trucking companies need to control and supervise their drivers to check their adherence to safety rules and company policies.

This comprises tracking the driving hours to prevent fatigue of drivers, observing compliance with speed limits and traffic laws, and acting quickly in cases of unsafe driving.

A company might be held accountable if it fails to properly supervise its drivers, and accidents occur as a consequence of their inattention.

  • Inadequate Maintenance and Inspections:

Trucking companies need to keep their vehicles in safe and operating condition.

The maintenance comprises routine inspections, maintenance, and repairs to confirm all the truck parts are in good condition.

If a company does not properly maintain its fleet and a mechanical failure results in an accident, the company may be held responsible for negligence.

  1. When is a Truck Driver Liable? 

Negligent Driving:

If an incident of a truck driver occurs due to his negligence, speeding, reckless driving, and distracted driving, then the truck driver should be held liable and responsible for the accident.

Texting while driving or driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they can be held responsible for any accidents that are caused by their reckless behavior.

Negligent driving is the most frequent explanation for truck drivers being held liable in collisions.

Driver Fatigue:

Numerous hours spent on the road may eventually make the driver feel exhausted, and, as a result, his judgment and reaction times will become worse. Drivers of trucks are obliged to obey exact hours-of-service rules in order to prevent accidents caused by fatigue.

In case a driver breaks the rules regarding the number of hours on duty and rest breaks or is involved in an accident due to lack of sleep, they can be held responsible for their actions.

Failure to Maintain Proper Control:

The truck drivers are trained to handle their vehicles well, including in emergency situations.

In case the driver loses control of the truck because of inexperience, inappropriate judgment, or inability to react to road conditions in time, they can be held responsible for any subsequent accidents.

  1. Manufacturer Liability

Defective Parts or Components:

If the truck or any of its components, including brakes, tires, steering mechanisms, or safety systems, are defective and the defect contributes to the accident, the manufacturer of the part that is defective may be held liable for any injuries or damages that result.

This may include design defects, manufacturing defects, or failure to warn about the known risks that are associated with the product.

Failure to Warn:

The manufacturers are required to supply users with appropriate warnings and instructions to use their products safely. 

If a manufacturer fails to inform consumers about the known risks associated with its truck or its components, they may be liable for any injuries or damages that result from the lack of proper warning.

Improper Installation or Assembly: 

In some situations, where the truck or its components were installed or assembled incorrectly, resulting in a fault or failure that is a contributing factor to an accident.

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