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Can Trucking Companies Contribute to Traffic Accidents?

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Can Trucking Companies Contribute to Traffic Accidents?

December 31, 2022
By Lafferty Gallagher Scott

Many people think that when a truck accident occurs, the truck driver is usually at fault. Unfortunately, it is true that many crashes are caused by negligent truckers who drive while impaired, speed, or fail to follow traffic laws. However, many people do not realize that even when a trucker causes a crash, the trucking company they work for can also be held liable. This is good news for injured individuals, as they can then receive more in damages than they would have otherwise.

Trucking companies are typically covered by significant insurance policies, with limits far higher than those of the average motorist. Below, our Ohio truck accident lawyer outlines when a company may be liable for a crash. 

Trucking Company Liability for Truck Driver Negligence 

Negligent truck drivers can and should be held accountable when they operate their trucks in a careless manner. Even though you can hold a negligent truck driver accountable, the trucking company can also be liable for paying damages. Most companies are responsible for their employee’s actions, and this holds true for trucking companies, as well. The legal concept of vicarious liability refers to the fact that employers are responsible for the actions of their employees, including when they act negligently. 

Trucking companies can also be held liable for an accident when they coerce or entice truck drivers to break the law. This is very common when an accident is caused by a drowsy trucker who has violated the federal hours of service rule. Under this law, truckers are only allowed to remain on the road for a certain amount of time to prevent exhaustion which could cause a crash. Trucking companies often provide incentives to their drivers to break this law so they can get to their destination and deliver more loads faster.

 Other Responsibilities of Trucking Companies

Trucking companies have a number of responsibilities to ensure that their trucks are safe and that their drivers are competent in an attempt to prevent accidents on the roads. Just a few of these responsibilities include:

  • Maintaining trucks, so they are always in safe working condition
  • Hiring truck drivers who have a commercial driver’s license, which is harder to obtain than for non-commercial drivers
  • Ensuring they have adequate maintenance and safety checklists, as well as schedules to make sure they are enforced
  • Hiring experienced, well-trained, and reliable drivers
  • Implementing policies that comply with all federal and state regulations, trucking rules, and restrictions
  • Overseeing the loading of cargo onto trucks to ensure they will not shift during transport

Our Truck Accident Lawyer in Ohio Can Provide the Legal Guidance You Need

Holding a trucking company liable after a severe crash is never easy. At Lafferty, Gallagher & Scott, LLC, our Ohio truck accident lawyer will conduct an investigation and collect important records and other evidence that prove your case, so you receive the full settlement to which you are entitled. Call us now or connect with us online to schedule a free consultation and learn more about your legal options.

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