Springfield, MO- The number of commercial trucks on the nation’s roads has increased by 20 percent over the past decade. The $3 billion dollar trucking industry is expected to double by 2015 which means the number of large commercial trucks on the road will increase significantly. As the number of trucks increase so will the number of truck accidents. These types of accidents are not like passenger vehicle accidents, they are more complex and often the victim is left to wonder, who is liable for my injuries?
More parties are involved when a commercial truck is involved in a traffic accident. There is the driver, the trucking company or owner of the truck and the company that leases the truck. When more than one party plays a role in a truck accident, the injury victims need someone with legal expertise who also has knowledge of how the trucking industry operates.
Truck accidents can be more severe than simple traffic accidents since commercial vehicles are much larger and heavier. According to data from the American Trucking Association, truck accidents are twice as deadly as passenger vehicle accidents. Ninety-eight percent of those who are killed in a truck accident are the drivers or occupants of the passenger vehicle.
Which parties can be held liable?
- The truck driver
- The owner of the truck or trailer
- The individual or the company that leased the truck
- The manufacturer of the truck, the brakes or other equipment that failed and led to the accident
- The shipper or company that loaded the trailer if a shift in the load caused an accident
When an injurious or deadly truck accident occurs any of these parties will do whatever they can to avoid liability. Trucking companies have in the past fought very hard to avoid taking on the fiscal responsibilities of a truck accident. If the trucking company was sued they would argue that the driver did not work for them, and was working as an independent contractor or they did not
Basically, trucking companies, manufacturers and other parties will try and push off all the liability on the truck driver. While a large number of truck accidents can be the sole responsibility of the truck driver, there are numerous incidents when poor maintenance, faulty equipment or shifting loads cause an accident.
Truck accident victims may not know who can be held responsible for their injuries and who will have to pay for the medical and other accident-related bills they incur. It always in the best interest of the victim to speak with a Missouri truck accident attorney before they contact a truck driver or a trucking companies insurer.
Your Springfield, Missouri truck accident attorney will collect all the pertinent evidence and dissect the events or your accident to determine which parties should take responsibility for an injurious or deadly truck accident. Your attorney will fight for what’s right for you and will use their knowledge of these complex accidents to get you the maximum amount of compensation.