According to the 2018 Annual Crash Statistics Report released by the Michigan State Police, there were 173 crashes during that year which were caused by trucks. Fifteen (15) of these crashes ended up being fatal while 67 resulted in injuries. Unlike a car crash, accidents with commercial trucks involved can become complicated. That’s because trucking operations also involve several parties to make sure that the truck is road-safe and road-ready.
When it comes to an accident involving a commercial truck, it’s important to get in touch with an auto accident lawyer. An experienced car accident attorney will be meticulous enough to determine the party or parties that should be liable for any injuries or damages sustained in the accident.
4 Parties that May Be Liable in a Truck Accident
In the unfortunate event that you get involved in a crash with a commercial truck, you can hold multiple parties liable for your damages. However, keep in mind that these parties will quickly find a way to blame the other parties involved and dodge any liabilities caused by the accident.
It’s essential to educate yourself and get the best Michigan auto accident lawyer available in Okemos.
- Truck Drivers at Fault
Based on the 2018 Michigan Traffic Crash Facts, the most common causes of heavy truck crashes include the following:
- Making backing
- Use of the lane
- Errors in turning
These reasons show that the alertness of the truck driver is critical in the operation of the vehicle. In case of a truck accident, the auto accident lawyer should do an investigation on the truck driver to identify if the driver has committed the following negligence or errors:
- Exhibits signs of fatigue before the crash
- Suffered a medical condition resulting in disability and being unable handle the vehicle to properly
- Partaking in drugs and alcohol while operating the truck making him an impaired driver
- Unable to focus on the road and surroundings
- Unable to anticipate hazards along the way
- Violating traffic laws e.g., speeding, beating red lights, etc.
- Showing aggression and tailgating other vehicles on the road as well as exhibiting other types of reckless driving behavior
If the truck driver was found guilty of any of the above, then he or she can be held liable for any damages or injuries sustained in the accident.
- Trucking Companies at Fault
One of the primary responsibilities of a trucking company is to ensure that they hire and train qualified truck drivers to operate commercial trucks. They are also in charge of making sure that these drivers undergo drug and alcohol screening tests to prevent any substance abuse.
A trucking company may be liable for an accident if it has committed any of the following:
- Hired drivers who do not have a commercial driver’s license
- Hired unqualified drivers
- Was unable to provide proper training to its drivers
- Hired a driver who has a history of drug or alcohol violations or is proven to have a bad driving record
If the trucking company owns the truck, the company also has the responsibility of regularly maintaining the vehicle. Proper inspections and repairs have to be done to ensure that it is safe for the road. To check this, an expert auto accident lawyer from Michigan will do an inspection of the vehicle logs and review the company’s employment records.
- Loading Companies at Fault
Based on the name itself, loading companies are in charge of providing the load of these commercial trucks. Because of this, they are responsible for making sure that the contents they will load on the truck are all appropriate for road travel. A loading company may be held liable for an accident if they committed the following errors:
- Loose or unsecured cargo before the accident
- Exposed cargo
- Cargo’s weight was not distributed correctly on the truck
- Cargo or contents fell off from the vehicle
An experienced accident lawyer should be able to make observations concerning the situations above to determine if the loading company is liable. The truck’s cargo records will be the key to arrive at a conclusion.
- Manufacturers of Parts
If the truck accident involves any of the following factors, then the manufacturer of the parts can be held liable:
- Faulty breaks
- Lighting parts are not working properly
- The trailer hitch is defective
- Tire blowouts
- Transmission failure
While inadequate maintenance may be the first thing that comes to mind, faulty parts have to be taken into consideration too. A meticulous auto accident lawyer should be able to catch this when investigating a truck accident.
Contact the Clark Law Office for Experienced Auto Accident Lawyers in Michigan
There are a lot of factors that need to be taken into consideration when investigating a truck accident. No matter the gravity of the damages or injuries, it is crucial that you get the proper compensation you deserve and the at-fault parties be liable for these damages.
For experienced auto accident lawyers in Michigan who you can trust, choose The Clark Law Office. We are consistently the leading personal injury law firm in the Michigan area for the last 30 years. You may fill out the free case evaluation form below or contact us at (517) 347-6900 for a free consultation.