How Is Fault Determined in a Truck Accident?

June 20, 2024

Rely on Our Truck Accident Lawyers to Represent You

When you get behind the wheel of a car, you always strive to put safety at the very top of your priority list. For example, you ensure you wear your seatbelt, try not to drive over the speed limit, and remember to put down your phone while driving.

Sadly, not everyone takes these same precautions, which can cause you to get into a severe accident. There are even situations where you could be involved in a truck accident. If this is the case for you, you can rely on Wapner Newman’s team to represent you, protect your rights, and defend your interests.

So, who is at fault in a truck accident? The rules of the road apply to truck drivers just as they do to other drivers. Look at a few important points below.’

Who Can Be Held Responsible for a Truck Accident?

Plenty of people could be held responsible for a truck accident. Generally, a company is responsible for taking care of the vehicle, so several parties could be liable for the collision.

Here are a few examples of parties that could be held responsible for a truck accident.

The Truck Driver

Without a doubt, one of the most common parties that could be held responsible for a truck accident is the truck driver. There are several reasons this might happen. Some of the most common examples include the following:

  • They did not have the right-of-way when they pulled out, and their actions resulted in a collision.
  • They were using their cell phones while driving and not paying attention to the road.
  • They could have been driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • They may have violated restrictions regarding their service hours, meaning they were driving too many hours in a row.
  • They failed to adjust their driving style due to the poor weather outside.

We can conduct a full investigation and see if a truck driver should be held responsible for the accident.

The Truck Company

The owner of the truck, which is a trucking company, could be held responsible for the accident. It is the trucking company’s responsibility to make sure they hire responsible drivers, train them adequately, and take care of their vehicles.

Upon further investigation, a trucking company could be held responsible for the accident if any of these apply:

  • They did not hire drivers with the right licenses to operate a truck.
  • They did not provide their truck drivers with the proper training before putting them on the road.
  • They did not perform routine maintenance on the truck, so it did not respond as expected.
  • They promoted a culture that encouraged drivers to disregard safety regulations.

We can look at all these factors to see if the truck company should be held responsible for the accident.

The Truck Manufacturer

We can also look at the truck manufacturer to see if they should be held responsible for the accident. The manufacturing company is responsible for putting safe vehicles on the road. They should be held responsible if a mistake during the manufacturing process actively contributed to the accident.

For example, suppose we can prove that the manufacturer did not manufacture the brakes properly. In that case, we may be able to hold the truck manufacturing company responsible for the accident and all financial ramifications of the accident.

The Maintenance Company

It is the responsibility of trucking companies to bring the truck to a maintenance shop for routine inspection, but it is the responsibility of the maintenance company to perform that maintenance properly.

The maintenance company is responsible for inspecting the truck, ensuring all the parts work exactly as expected, and ensuring the truck is ready to return to the road.

We can look at the maintenance processes used to inspect the vehicle, and if there is a flaw in the maintenance process in some way, we can hold the maintenance company responsible.

The Loading Company

We can also take a closer look at the loading company to see if they made a mistake loading the truck. Just like pickup trucks, regular trucks have a payload limit as well as a towing capacity limit.

If the loading company puts too much cargo on the truck, it may become imbalanced. This might make it nearly impossible for the truck driver to keep control of the vehicle, which could result in a severe accident.

We can look at the model of the truck, inspect the cargo placed in the back of the truck, and see if it was too much for the truck to handle.

A Third-Party Driver

We can also examine other drivers who may have been involved in the accident. For example, the actions of another driver could have caused the truck driver to swerve into you, leading to a collision.

Additionally, we can look at the police report, work with experts to reconstruct what happened in the accident and see if another driver should be held responsible. Ultimately, the rules of the road apply to truck drivers just as they do to everyone else.

If the actions of a truck driver directly contributed to an accident, we can conduct a full investigation to see if someone should be held responsible.

What If You Are Partially at Fault for the Truck Accident?

There is also a chance that you could be found partially at fault for the accident. Pennsylvania is a comparative negligence state.

This means that if a jury finds you partially at fault for the accident, your potential settlement could be reduced by that percentage.

For example, if a jury believes you are 20 percent responsible for the accident, your settlement could be reduced by 20 percent.

This can be a significant amount of money. Because of this, we strongly advise you to reach out to us for a case consultation following an accident.

Why Choose Us

At Wapner Newman, we understand you have options if you seek legal representation following a truck accident.

Some of the reasons why you should partner with us include the following:

  • We have a long list of prior case results, verdicts, and settlements in favor of our clients, and we believe we can successfully represent you as well.
  • We are transparent with our client reviews, and we encourage you to look at them to see what our prior clients have to say about us.
  • We will provide you with a free case consultation to see if we have a case.
  • We will explain everything to you in an understandable way to ensure you can make the best decision for your situation.
  • We specialize in truck accidents and have the legal knowledge to represent you.

Rely on Wapner Newman to defend your rights if you have been involved in a truck accident.

How We Can Help You

There are several ways we can help you following a truck accident, including the following:

  • We can call on expert witnesses to recreate the accident scene to show exactly what happened.
  • We can negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf to secure a favorable settlement.
  • We can also file a personal injury lawsuit against any responsible parties to recover additional compensation.
  • If you are not offered a favorable settlement, we can take the case to trial instead.

Reach out to us to see if you legally deserve compensation for your truck accident.

Contact Wapner Newman Following a Truck Accident in Philadelphia

If you have been involved in a truck accident, you should seek medical care as quickly as possible. After that, you can count on Wapner Newman to review your case to see if you deserve compensation.

If you are not found at fault for the accident, you should not be responsible for the financial ramifications of the accident.

Contact us today to schedule a free case consultation at (215) 569-0900.

FAQs About Truck Accidents in Philadelphia

What does comparative negligence mean?

Comparative negligence means that you could be partially blamed for the accident, and this could proportionally reduce the size of your settlement.

Can a trucking company be responsible for a truck accident?

Yes. If a trucking company places its drivers in a vulnerable position by not following the field’s best practices, the company can be liable for the accident.

What types of damages can you recover following a truck accident?

We can pursue compensation for property damage, medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost income.

How long do you have to file a personal injury lawsuit following an accident?

In Pennsylvania, the statute of limitations following a motor vehicle accident is 2 years. You should reach out to us as soon as possible to schedule a case consultation.