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Trucking accident claims are much more complicated than car accident lawsuits, even in cases where the accident itself was not complex. The trucking industry is subject to strict federal and state regulations which will play a large role in your case.
Trucking Company Responsibility in Trucking Accidents
Trucking companies, also called common carriers, can be held responsible in a large portion of trucking accidents, including those where the truck driver they employed was at fault.
Trucking companies are responsible for maintaining and repairing their trucks, strict hiring practices, monitoring of their drivers, and much more. For every requirement that the trucking company must meet, it must also keep detailed records.
Trucking accident lawsuits often hinge on evidence which is buried deep in the trucking company’s records and in the truck driver’s log. Violations of Hour of Service (HOS) regulations, failure to adequately maintain the truck, and numerous other safety violations which can ultimately lead to an accident may only be revealed by a thorough and knowledgeable review of these documents.
Responsible Parties in Illinois Trucking Accidents
The parties which can be held responsible or a trucking accident will depend on the underlying cause and contributing factors. There can be multiple responsible parties in a single trucking accident, and they may include:
- Truck driver
- Trucking company
- Truck owner
- Truck leasing company
- Freight shipper
- Freight broker
- Third party logistics provider (3PL)
- Truck loader
- Truck or parts manufacturer or seller
- Repair shop
- Weigh station or weigh station personnel
- Government entity responsible for design, construction or maintenance or a defective roadway
- Another driver
Truck Accident Victims
Accidents involving large commercial trucks can involve many vehicles, damage buildings and roadways, and when hazardous materials are involved they can cause damage and injuries outside of the immediate are of the accident.
There may be numerous victims in a single trucking accident. Trucking accident victims can include:
- Occupants of vehicles directly involved in the crash
- Truck driver and passengers
- People in buildings affected by the accident
- Owners of property damaged by the accident
Trucking Accident Causes
The cause of the trucking accident which caused your injuries or the death of a loved one is one of the most important aspects of your case because it points us to the responsible party or parties and demonstrates their liability.
Truck accidents are often the culmination of multiple underlying factors which can include:
- Driver fatigue
- Unrealistic schedules
- Excessive speed
- Improperly loaded truck
- Overweight truck
- Defective truck, parts, or equipment
- Inadequately maintained truck, parts, or equipment
- Inexperienced or undertrained driver
- Hazardous weather or road conditions
- Defective roadway, including missing or inaccurate weight or height limit signs
- Lack of enforcement by weigh station
- Reckless driving by drivers of passenger vehicles, sometimes drivers who are not directly affected by the accident