When a truck accident occurs, your first thought might be to look at holding the truck driver who caused the accident liable for your injuries. You may wonder was the truck driver drowsy from having driven too many hours without resting, or they could have been driving drunk or under the influence of drugs. Another cause of truck accidents is when truck drivers engage in aggressive driving behavior. They start driving fast and try to intimidate the other vehicles on the roadway.
A commercial truck such as an 18-wheeler or a tractor-trailer is a commercial vehicle. If a commercial truck drive causes an accident while they are on duty and operating within the scope of their employment, their employer may be held liable for their actions because employer liability.
There are occasions when the trucking company can be held liable when their employee causes a truck accident. The truck driver’s job is to drive the truck from point A to Point B, to observe the rules of the road, and maintain their record of duty status (RODS) log. The owner of the truck and the employer of the truck driver may also be held liable under certain circumstances. Here are a few examples:
- Allowing drivers who are not properly trained, qualified or licensed to drive their truck
- Negligent hiring of drivers with a poor driving history that includes DUI, speeding tickets or a history of drug abuse
- Failure ensure that inspection, maintenance and repair records are current and accurate
- Failure to ensure that drivers follow Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations
Determining liability after a truck crash
If you have been involved in a collision with a tractor-trailer, you do not go about recovering compensation for your injuries in the same way that you would if another passenger vehicle crashed into your car. Determining liability in a truck crash, because it is a commercial vehicle, is far more complicated than a fender bender with another car. You will still pursue compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and whatever other losses you sustained in the accident, but there may be several responsible parties that share liability for the crash.
You might hold the driver liable if he or she were drunk or distracted by their cell phone at the time of the crash, but you might also hold their employer liable for the negligent hiring of a truck driver with a record of DUIs. If the crash occurred because the truck’s brakes failed, you might hold the truck company liable for negligent maintenance, but if the brakes were defective, you might hold the parts manufacturer liable as well. These are just examples to illustrate how complicated it can be to determine all the responsible parties in a truck accident.
Getting legal help from an Oklahoma truck accident attorney
If you have suffered a serious injury in a truck crash, what you need to do is focus on getting better so that you can get back to work and to living your life. The Oklahoma truck accident lawyers at Stipe Law Firm have the skill and experience to determine the cause of the crash, who may be held liable, and make sure that the responsible parties are held accountable for your injuries. We pursue compensation on your behalf, and you do not pay any attorney fees until we have recovered compensation for you.
Truck accident injury liability can be complex to sort out. The experienced Oklahoma truck accident attorneys at Stipe Law Firm invite you to call and discuss your case in a free consultation and where we will offer sound guidance on next steps. You are welcome to call (918) 505-7741 our McAlester office or fill out our contact form to schedule your free case review today.