Being involved in an auto accident can be a terrifying and traumatic experience, especially when the truck accident involves a large big rig truck or semi-truck. If you’re in this situation and you’re not sure what the process looks like when determining who was at fault for the accident, you’ve come to the right place.
Our truck accident attorneys at The Edwards Law Firm in Tulsa, Oklahoma are well versed in these types of legal cases. We listen to your side of the story, and we can help you seek the compensation and justice you deserve for your damages and injuries. For a free case evaluation, contact our team today.
Although most truck accidents are caused by some sort of negligence, that’s not always the case in regards to fault, which is why our team has put together a list of three things you should know when determining who’s at fault in a truck accident. Read on for more information.
1. The truck driver isn’t automatically the one at fault.
Even if the truck driver is technically the one driving the truck that was involved in the accident, they aren’t always the go-to person of blame. Commercial trucking companies are typically legally responsible for the safety of their vehicle operations, whether they own the truck that was crashed or hired out the driver of the truck.
But of course, if the driver was driving in a reckless or negligent manner, they can be at fault. Here are a few situations where the truck driver can be determined as the one responsible for the truck accident:
- If they were speeding or failing to abide by any traffic laws or signage.
- If they were driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- If they were driving too close to their surrounding vehicles on the road.
- If they failed to keep the mirrors and windows of their vehicle properly cleaned.
- If they chose to drive longer than federal law allows for, which is known as the “hours of service” a commercial truck driver can legally (and safely) drive for.
- If they are an independent contractor and are hired on a job-to-job basis, rather than employed with one specific commercial trucking company.
2. Consider the company that employs the truck driver or owns the truck.
As we mentioned above, individual truck drivers aren’t always considered to be at fault when a truck accident occurs — large trucking companies can have “vicarious liability,” according to Oklahoma law. This essentially means if an employee acts negligently while under employment, the employer can be held responsible, rather than the employee themselves.
Here a few other situations where the company or owner of the truck could be held at fault, instead of the actual individual truck driver:
- If the company didn’t provide the truck driver with sufficient training.
- If the company did not provide adequate safety instructions with certain, more dangerous types of cargo.
- If the truck itself was defected and intentionally not repaired or maintained.
3. Third parties can be at fault, too.
Sometimes, a party that wasn’t physically involved in the truck accident can be held at fault for the crash. For example, this could be another driver that caused the truck driver to lose control of their vehicle or a company that hired the truck driver to carry dangerous supplies in their cargo.
Determining fault in an automobile accident is a complicated and tricky ordeal, which is why you should hire legal assistance for your potential personal injury claim.
Schedule a free case evaluation with our Auto Accident Attorneys in Tulsa.
Our team of truck accident attorneys at The Edwards Law Firm in Tulsa have years of experience under their belts helping those in the community with their personal injury claims. Liability is complicated, and you shouldn’t have to experience the suffering from a truck accident alone. Ranging from truck accidents to motorcycle accidents, our auto accident attorneys are experienced in a variety of legal practice areas.
If you require more information about our legal services or if you’d like to schedule a free case evaluation, you can call us at (918) 221-0516 or at our toll-free number at (888) 600-9836 during business hours. You can also fill out our online form at your earliest convenience.