Accident claims involving large commercial trucks and smaller passenger vehicles on the roadway often become very complex, particularly when working to determine who caused the crash. Any person injured in a truck crash caused by the actions of a truck driver or trucking company should be able to recover compensation for their losses. Here, we want to review the possible liable parties for truck accidents in Pennsylvania.
Accidents Involving Large Trucks Are Not Uncommon
Data from the National Safety Council shows that there were 118,000 large trucks involved in injury-causing collisions across the country during the latest reporting year. Unfortunately, there were more than 5,000 total large truck fatal crashes during that same year.
When we examine data from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, we can see that there were more than 6,300 total heavy trucks involved in collisions across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania last year. Many of these incidents led to injuries or fatalities for those inside traditional passenger vehicles.
Large commercial truck accidents occur in a variety of ways, which also means that there are various parties that could hold liability in the event a collision occurs.
Liability for a Large Truck Crash in Pennsylvania
First, we do want to point out that drivers in regular vehicles could certainly be at fault for these incidents. If drivers violate traffic laws or take any action that leads to dangerous situations on the roadway, they could be held liable.
However, we know that these incidents often occur as a result of other parties. This can include the following:
- Truck driver. Anytime a driver operates the truck unsafely, this could cause an accident. Drivers can cause truck accidents by failing to follow traffic laws, operating too fast for conditions operating while distracted by devices, operating while impaired by alcohol or drugs, and failing to follow state or federal truck regulations. When a truck driver is responsible for causing a crash, the company they work for will likely hold liability for the incident.
- Truck owner. We put this on the list because many truck drivers are also the owner-operator of that vehicle. You can think of these individuals as independent contractors for other agencies. It may be more difficult to hold a truck company liable if the driver is also the owner-operator of the truck.
- Trucking company. Truck companies are often held liable for the actions of their employees. Additionally, a trucking company could be held directly responsible for a crash if they fail to regularly inspect or maintain the vehicles or do not follow adequate hiring procedures when it comes to personnel.
- Loading company. If a truck crash occurs because the vehicle was improperly loaded, a loading company could also be held liable for damages. Improperly loaded or unbalanced trucks can lead to severe accidents on the highway.
- Truck or parts manufacturer. If the actual truck or a single part inside of the truck is faulty and this causes an accident, then the manufacturers could be held responsible through a product liability claim.
If you or somebody you care about has been injured as a result of the actions of a truck driver or trucking company, you need to reach out to a skilled attorney in Pennsylvania as soon as possible. A truck accident lawyer will have the resources necessary to handle every aspect of these investigations. They will vigorously negotiate with insurance carriers to recover the compensation that their client needs to make a full recovery.