Holding truck companies accountable

Truck Accident Responsibility: The Importance of Holding Trucking Companies Accountable

When you’re involved in a truck accident, it’s easy to wonder why. With so many long-haul truck trips occurring without a single mishap, why were you the one to end up in a crash? In the days and weeks after an accident, you may wonder about your next steps and if you have any chance of seeking justice. It all starts with holding the right party accountable—and in some cases, it’s the trucking company.

If you’ve been left injured and hopeless after a truck accident, don’t wait any longer to call Bailey Javins & Carter. Schedule a consultation now by calling us at 800-497-0234.

When the Truck Driver is to Blame

There are many accidents in which the truck driver is at fault. Some common truck driving errors that lead to collisions include:

  • Unsafe lane changes.
  • Failing to check the blind spot.
  • Failing to check that cargo is properly loaded or secured.
  • Speeding.
  • Driving while distracted, impaired, or fatigued.
  • Ignoring right-of-way laws.

When these mistakes lead to an accident, the driver may be to blame; but if they are employed by a trucking company, the trucking company will likely be held liable. As a general rule, employers are responsible for the actions their employees take when they are on the job. Even if the employer had nothing to do with the driver’s actions, they may be forced to pay for them. This is known as vicarious liability, and it does not require negligence or malice on the part of the trucking company.

When the Trucking Company is At Fault

However, it’s even more important to hold trucking companies accountable when their own errors lead to preventable accidents. Companies have an obligation to those who share the road with their drivers. 

They are expected to use reasonable hiring procedures to weed out unsafe or untrained drivers, uphold FMCSA regulations take action to penalize drivers who are non-compliant, and dismiss drivers who show that they cannot be trusted on the road. If they fall short of these standards, they are directly liable for accidents that occur. A few examples include:

  • An accident caused by a driver who went far over their hours of service limits, resulting in them driving for nearly a day straight; text messages revealed that their manager encouraged them to get the job done by any means necessary.
  • A company that provided additional compensation for drivers who completed hauls in a given timeframe, knowing that the given timeframe would require them to skip breaks, go above the speed limit, and ignore hours of service regulations.
  • A trucking company that failed to check an applicant’s driving history, resulting in them missing that the driver had caused multiple accidents at their last company.
  • An accident caused by a fatigued employee; the company should have known that they were working beyond their hours of service, but either did not check or did not enforce these regulations.
  • Accident caused by a vehicle that was long overdue for brake work; the company should have been aware of this but sent the truck out anyway to avoid missing a haul.

Why We Must Hold Negligent Companies Accountable

Companies that dabble in these unethical actions must be held responsible for their choices. These choices come down to the same motivator: money. When companies hire incompetent drivers or allow them to work beyond what’s safe, they do so to get jobs done on time and preserve client relationships. 

It boils down to money, and when you boil it down further, it’s putting money over the lives and physical safety of other drivers and passengers. When victims hold companies responsible for the harm they cause, they cause a major loss to their profit margins. That is what makes companies listen and it’s what will make them think twice before cutting corners in the future.

Reach Out Today to Explore Your Legal Options

When a truck accident leaves you injured, out of work and stuck with a totaled vehicle, it’s time to take action. Let the team at Bailey Javins & Carter fight for you. Schedule a meeting with our team of attorneys now by reaching out online or calling us at 800-497-0234.