When a commercial semi-truck crash occurs, many parties might be at fault. However, this can also make it challenging to determine who is liable for damages in a semi-truck crash.

In the event of a truck crash in South Carolina, an experienced personal injury lawyer from Joye Law Firm can determine liability. A lawyer can ensure you receive adequate compensation to pay for injuries, property damages, and other losses.

Who Are the Liable Parties in a Semi-Truck Crash?

There may be multiple parties to blame for an accident involving a truck. These parties include, but are not limited to:

Truck driver

All commercial truck drivers must follow the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) federal trucking regulations. These regulations govern truck drivers’ safety on interstate highways and roadways.

They include the number of service hours they should work and a ban on drinking alcohol four hours before they begin work. An at-fault truck driver is liable if their negligence, such as fatigued driving or alcohol intoxication, led to a collision.

Truck employer

Truck companies handle training their drivers, conducting background checks on their drivers, and screening them for drugs and alcohol. If the truck driver is an employee of a trucking company, the company is liable because the driver acted as their representative on the road.

If they don’t have driver safety, training, and truck maintenance policies, the company can also be liable. A trucking company may be held directly liable for damages if it hires, retains, or supervises a negligent driver.

Truck owner

A trucking company may lease the trucks from another company rather than own them. If a leasing company fails to inspect, repair, or maintain the truck and the failure leads to an accident, the leasing company may be held liable.

Cargo shipper

Besides the truck driver, the cargo shipper may be the party responsible for loading cargo into the truck and must ensure all cargo is in place. These regulations are important, especially for securing hazardous materials in the truck.

A truck loaded with goods might become uncontrollable and roll because of its unbalanced weight. The shippers or owners of hazardous goods may be held liable for injuries caused by the shipment.

Truck manufacturer

Like all manufacturers, truck manufacturers must ensure their products are safe. Their failure to do so could result in serious crashes. For instance, a faulty steering mechanism can cause the driver to lose control and cause an accident. The manufacturer of a defective steering wheel may be held responsible for damages if the steering wheel fails because of the defect.

Drivers on the road

It is possible that other drivers on the road contributed to the truck collision. Drowsy driving, distracted driving, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or speeding are all potential risks that can cause truck accidents. One of our experienced South Carolina truck crash lawyers can analyze the facts of the case to determine if the driver caused the collision due to negligence.

How Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Determine Liability in a Semi-Truck Accident?

Your attorney can determine the number of multiple parties in a truck crash in a few ways:

Ask witnesses for their testimonies

A lawyer may strengthen your case with testimonies from onlookers who witnessed the semi-truck crash. Their testimonies can significantly affect your case by having your attorney ask them for details about the accident.

Review photos and videos from the accident scene

The crash may have been captured on traffic cameras, dash cams, or private surveillance cameras. You can have your lawyer obtain the footage so that they can review it and decide on the liable parties.

The lawyer may also use photos of the accident scene to determine liability by observing the extent of any injuries, skid marks, and the point of impact on the vehicles in the accident.

If it is clear who is at fault in a semi-truck crash, your lawyer can help you pursue a claim against one or more insurance companies to recover the costs of medical care and vehicle replacement or repair.

Contact a South Carolina Truck Lawyer for Legal Help

It is difficult to determine all of the liability parties in a semi-truck accident without the help of a lawyer. Joye Law Firm’s experienced truck accident lawyers are ready to work with you and represent you in court, if necessary. Call us today for a free consultation with a member of our team.

About the Author

Mark Joye is the Head of the Litigation Department at the Joye Law Firm. A Board-Certified Trial Advocate with nearly 30 years of litigation experience, he currently serves on the Board of Governors for the American Association for Justice and is a past president of the South Carolina Association for Justice. In a recent trial, Joye headed a trial team that secured $17 million for a family killed in a tractor-trailer accident.

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