727-381-9200

It's Not Always The Driver At Fault In Truck Accidents

Big, freight hauling mac trucks are a common sight on Florida roads as they are in every other part of the USA. Trucks replaced trains for a lot of cargo transport since they could travel asphalt roads as easily as a car, allowing them to go more places than a train limited to a track.

However, the massive size of a truck, especially when fully loaded with cargo, also means that any accident involving a truck is bound to be more severe than one with a much smaller car. But there's another big difference between truck and car accidents, and that's assigning fault.

Cars Are Simpler


In a car accident, if someone else is at fault for causing the accident, then it's a matter of assigning that fault to one driver or another. This is because most of the time, the car's driver is usually the vehicle owner and is responsible for maintaining and operating the vehicle involved and only the vehicle.

This equation becomes more complex with trucking accidents because while it is still true that the truck driver is driving the truck, there are other factors beyond the truck driving that may cause the accident. Those other variables can include:

Freight Loading


A truck driver is usually not responsible for loading and attaching cargo or the trailers required for the cargo. Other teams handle this to get freight loading done as quickly as possible. So, for example, if a truck hauling logs gets into an accident where the logs come loose and fall onto the road, the fault for this doesn't lie with the truck driver.

In this instance, the fault would have to be traced to whatever branch of the logistics company was responsible for loading freight. How the driver handled the truck may have nothing to do with the accidental release of the cargo if it was inadequately loaded.

Maintenance


If a car owner realizes that the brakes are failing, is told about this by mechanics, and continues to ignore the problem until the brakes fail and an accident occurs, the car owner is responsible. However, in the case of a truck, the truck driver is not necessarily the owner or maintainer of that vehicle. Therefore, if a truck driver reports that the brakes need repair and the truck fleet owner fails to heed this warning, it is not the truck driver's fault if that brake failure causes an accident.

The business that owns and operates trucks is also responsible for maintaining them. A truck driver can't be held accountable for an accident caused by a lack of repairs that a truck driver isn't even authorized to make.

There are many other examples of how truck drivers aren't always the person at fault in a trucking accident, but the results are always the same. So if an accident involving a truck occurs, unless it's clear the truck driver is compromised, such as a strong suspicion of drunkenness or drug use, it's entirely possible that the fault may lie with the truck, but not the truck driver. That's when it's time to talk to a truck accident lawyer..