How is Fault Determined in a Truck Accident?


By nature, commercial truck accidents are deadly. Though they represent a small fracture of the overall number of motor vehicle accidents, they have the highest death rate of any type. Recent data suggests that there are approximately 4,000 fatal truck accidents each year.

Well over 50 percent of the fatalities reported were drivers and passengers of passenger occupant vehicles. Overall, there are more than 100,000 large truck accidents annually that cause injury. Most injuries sustained are serious, life-threatening, and can precipitate a drastic lifestyle change in the lives of the victims. With this in mind, it is natural for those that have suffered major injuries to wonder how they will be compensated for the damages that they have incurred as a result of the accident.

Though accidents between two (or more) passenger vehicles and accidents involving trucks share similarities in how fault is determined, truck accident investigations require a much more in-depth process that includes the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, various laws and regulations on the state and federal level, as well as a multitude of insurance providers. If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, it is in your best interest to consult with experienced professionals like truck accident lawyers Paul Grossman & Dennis Grossman. Learn more about how fault is determined in truck accidents below.

Why Taking Immediate Action is Important

This is true of any type of accident. However, the need to act quickly in a truck accident is absolutely necessary for those that wish to be compensated for their injuries. Truck accident claims require that fault is clearly established via credible evidence. Immediately after an accident has occurred, the insurer(s) of commercial truck companies begin working to investigate the accident. They take such quick action because they have a lot to lose in the event that a driver that works for them was at fault. Waiting too long to file a claim and/or contact a personal injury attorney can make it difficult for you to file an effective claim against the truck company.

What Happens During Truck Accident Investigations

Truck accident investigations are thorough. Understanding why an accident has happened is necessary to determine the cause(s) as well as who was at fault. Investigators, attorneys, as well as insurers will uncover every stone before making a final determination. Listed below are the most scrutinized factors during truck accident investigations.

  • Negligence – This can include human error(s), reckless driving, etc.

  • Driving under the influence – Including alcohol, drugs, prescription medication

  • Hiring Practices of Truck Company – Hiring drivers lacking in the appropriate qualifications is a red flag for most investigators

  • Truck Maintenance – Trucking companies must ensure that its trucks are safe for the road (brakes, tires, visibility, etc.)

  • Loading Techniques – Trucks that are not loaded correctly are more likely to tip over and cause accidents

Who Is at Fault in Commercial Truck Accidents

With so many factors involved in truck accidents, determining fault is not an easy task or a quick process in most cases. An experienced attorney will investigate possible errors that their client potentially made as well as other parties to include:

  • The operator of the truck

  • The truck company

  • The company that manufactured and/or made repairs to the truck

  • The company that loaded the trucks

If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, it is recommended that you immediately consult with an experienced attorney. Insurance companies may offer you a quick settlement, but in most cases, the first offer is not an offer that will actually cover all of your damages. Negotiating with attorneys and claims adjusters on your own (especially while recovering from injuries) is not in your best interest.

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