Who is Liable in a Truck Accident – Driver or Company?

November 8, 2022 | By Francis Firm Injury Attorneys
Who is Liable in a Truck Accident – Driver or Company?

A truck accident in Texas can leave an unimaginable mess — both literally and figuratively. Such accidents typically result in extensive damage and destruction of other motor vehicles on Texas roads as well as property by the roadside. Some truck wrecks may also cause spillages that may risk becoming a public health hazard.

Truck accident victims, particularly those in passenger vehicles, may sustain serious, catastrophic, or even fatal injuries. Still, the cost of a semi-truck wreck may quickly spiral into thousands or even millions of dollars.

After a trucking accident in the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex, you may face substantial legal complications. It may be challenging for you to prove who is liable for the truck accident and all involved losses.

To understand how liability can affect your truck accident claim, you need to  consider speaking with a lawyer. Remember, there might be more parties involved in the crash than you realize. Determining who is liable for a truck accident can be key to a successful personal injury claim in Dallas or Fort Worth.

Gathering Evidence To Determine Who Is Liable in a Truck Accident

After a commercial truck wreck in Texas, there are various pieces of evidence that a truck accident attorney may use to prove who is legally responsible for the crash. Evidence is crucial when proving negligence, which is crucial to collecting the maximum settlement. Without negligence and liability, you have no valid grounds to file a truck accident claim against the truck driver or their trucking company.

When determining liability, our lawyers must show who is to blame for your crash. Here is some of the evidence that our truck accident lawyers in Dallas may use to prove liability:

  • The police report
  • Dashcam and CCTV footage
  • Black box data
  • Photos and videos of the accident scene
  • Eyewitness accounts
  • Expert witness testimony
  • Repair, maintenance, and inspection records 

At The Francis Firm, our truck accident lawyers are experienced in handling truck accidents. We will gather and analyze all relevant evidence to prove who is liable for the truck accident.

Understanding Who Is Liable in a Truck Accident

You bear the burden of proving who is liable for your truck accident in Texas. You need to work with your lawyer to make sure you assess all the facts surrounding your claim to determine liability accurately. Here are some of the parties that may be held liable for the truck wreck.

Truck Drivers

Driver error is one of the main causes of truck accidents in Texas. Even though most truckers on our roads take their role seriously, others may be negligent while driving on Texas roads, risking the lives of other road users.

Trucker negligence may come in many forms. If the driver involved in your crash was involved in any of the reckless behaviors listed below, they might be liable for your injuries and other damages:

  • Texting while driving
  • Driving while intoxicated
  • Driving while fatigued
  • Ignoring traffic signs
  • Speeding
  • Reckless or aggressive driving

An experienced truck accident lawyer from Dallas should consider whether the driver’s actions were influenced by their employer. For example, a trucker may drive for long hours and violate Hours of Service (HOS) regulations because their employer requires them to meet specific deadlines.

Trucking Companies

Truck drivers share most of the blame for truck accidents that happen in Texas. However, they aren’t the only parties liable for truck accidents in Texas.

Trucking companies are responsible for the trucks and truckers they put on Texas roads. This includes liability for hiring and training practices. Regrettably, many trucking companies don’t usually make corporate decisions that benefit truck drivers. Truckers often find themselves caught in a system that prioritizes profits over road safety, which in turn leads to risky driving.

If a trucking company operating in Texas violates state or federal laws that protect truck drivers and other road users, they may be held liable for the truck accident.

Here are some reasons trucking companies may be liable for truck wrecks:

  • Inadequately training truckers
  • Hiring unqualified truckers
  • Improperly inspecting trucks before use
  • Pushing drivers to violate HOS regulations
  • Encouraging truckers to consume stimulants to stay awake longer
  • Letting a driver operate trucks without a valid commercial driver’s license
  • Failing to regularly maintain trucks

Truck Owners

If the trucking company doesn’t own the truck, the owner of the truck may be liable for the truck accident. They may be responsible for inspecting the truck, checking its engine, maintaining tires, and checking the internal workings of the truck for any issues. If the truck owner disregards this duty, they may be held liable through a Dallas truck accident claim.

Passenger Vehicle Drivers

Other third parties, like passenger vehicle drivers, may be responsible for causing an accident involving a large commercial truck. For example, if a car driver runs a red light or makes an illegal turn and collides with a truck, they may be at fault and responsible for the truck wreck.

Cargo Shippers or Loaders

If cargo is secured or loaded incorrectly before a trucker leaves for a particular destination, it could shift while in transit and interfere with the truck’s center of gravity. Improperly loaded cargo can cause brake and transmission failures, tire blowouts, and loss of truck control.

Your truck accident lawyer near Dallas can examine all relevant evidence, such as footage from the loader's yard, to prove negligence. Negligence in this scenario could be a matter of improper loading techniques, failure to inspect, or overloading.

Truck Manufacturers

Problems with the steering wheel, brake failures, and tire blowouts are some of the reasons why manufacturers may be liable for truck collisions. If a part of the truck was defective from the start, you may file a product liability claim in Texas to hold the truck or parts manufacturer accountable.

Government Agencies and Contractors

County, state, and federal government agencies maintain roads in Texas that we use every day. If a roadway hazard, such as a pothole, leads to your truck accident, you may hold the relevant government agency or contractor liable for your injuries and damages.

Can More Than One Party Be Liable in My Truck Accident?

Yes. If an investigation proves that several parties are to blame for your truck collision, you may maximize your compensation by obtaining damages through multiple truck accident claims.

At The Francis Firm, our attorneys at law know how to investigate semi-truck crashes in the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex as well as how to prove liability in truck accident cases. If more than one party is responsible for your accident and injuries, we won’t rest until they are all held accountable for their negligent actions.

Let Us Help You Prove Liability in Your Truck Accident Case

Figuring out who is liable in a truck accident is essential if you want to receive compensation for your injuries and losses. The legal team at The Francis Firm has the resources to comprehensively investigate your truck accident case and bring airtight personal injury claims against all liable parties. If you need a trustworthy, experienced truck accident lawyer in Texas, don’t hesitate to get in touch with The Francis Firm. Contact us today to find out if you have a valid claim.