Montana does not exactly have ideal road conditions for drivers to be operating large vehicles such as commercial trucks. Reports disclose that nearly 30% of Montana’s main roads are in poor condition and they pose a dangerous driving environment for any driver trying to use them. The poor conditions of the roads are one of the contributing factors to the many truck accidents that occur in Montana every year.
After a truck accident, the legalities can quickly become more complicated due to the variety of parties who may be held accountable and who need to be contacted and investigated. After a truck accident, both state laws and federal laws are taken into consideration, making the matter even more complex.
Some laws that truck drivers are expected to follow include:
- Truck drivers cannot exceed their Hours of Service Limitations
- Commercial vehicles that weigh more than 26,000 pounds must stop at weigh stations
- Truck drivers must have a valid medical certificate
- Truck drivers must travel below certain speeds
- Trucks must undergo annual safety inspections
If an investigation is conducted after the accident and it is discovered that the truck driver failed to follow the above rules, they can be forced to face serious legal penalties alongside paying compensation to any individuals who were hurt during the accident.
A truck accident attorney is the perfect legal professional to get in touch with after the collision to make sure a thorough investigation is conducted and to make sure the relevant parties are held accountable. Previously, trucking companies used to hire drivers as independent contractors to avoid being involved in any lawsuits should an accident occur, but now, in Florida, all drivers are considered employees of the trucking company.
Who will be held legally responsible after the truck accident?
To decide who is responsible for the accident, it must be determined who acted negligently and whose negligence resulted in the collision occurring. In most truck accident cases, it is the truck driver, the trucking company, the manufacturer of the truck, and the cargo company who are usually held responsible for negligence.
Once the cause of the truck accident is determined, the liable party can be held accountable. For instance, if the cargo company failed to load the cargo properly and this caused the truck to become unbalanced and resulted in a collision, they can be held accountable.
On the other hand, if it turns out the accident happened because a truck part malfunctioned, and the truck was up to date with its maintenance, the truck manufacturing company can be questioned and compelled to pay compensation to all those who suffered because of their mistake.