When Are Trucking Companies Responsible for Accidents?

A Tennessee Truck Accident Attorney Examines the Facts

According to the latest truck accident statistics from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), every year results in over 400,000 crashes across the United States involving a commercial truck. The causes of truck accidents may vary, but the results are always the same: heartache, pain, suffering and even the loss of a loved one or friend.

In some cases, truck driver error is responsible for a trucking accident. However, the driver is rarely the only party that contributed to a tractor-trailer accident—trucking companies are often as responsible, if not more so, than an individual driver.

When Are Truck Companies At Fault?

Currently, the number of trucks on the road is increasing, and truck companies always need more drivers to keep up with demand. As a result, there is a lack of high-quality, properly trained commercial drivers on the road.

Depending on the circumstances of the crash, the trucking company may be the primary party responsible for an accident and could be held legally liable to victims for a number of reasons. These include:

  • Failure to provide sufficient training
  • Failure to screen drivers for safety
  • Failure to perform background checks on drivers
  • Failure to enforce driving hour limits
  • Failure to perform adequate maintenance on trucks
  • Overlooking past indiscretions by the drivers
  • Not following state and federal regulations for drivers
  • Transporting unreasonably dangerous or improperly loaded cargo
  • Pressuring drivers to exceed driving limits or to not follow driving regulations

Pressure from Corporate Employers

Corporate trucking companies often put immense pressure on their employees to deliver cargo quickly. This pressure to perform can result in drivers speeding across the highways of Tennessee to make a delivery on a rushed time schedule. This could also result in drivers taking medications (prescription or illicit) to keep them awake for long hours. Drivers who are under intense pressure to make deliveries quickly are more likely to take dangerous risks that threaten the safety of innocent motorists on the road.

A Penny Terribly Saved

Maintenance is another common area of fault for trucking companies. Big tractor-trailers are expensive to maintain, and the tens of thousands of miles they endure means they must be monitored and repaired constantly. Common maintenance failures include:

  • Tire blowouts
  • Engine and truck part malfunctions
  • Brake failure
  • Transmission failure
  • Defective front or rear lighting

Even if the truck is in pristine condition, improper loading can also impair drivers’ abilities to adequately control the vehicles – therefore, sometimes the loading company can be held liable for an accident, as well.

Getting to the Bottom of Things

As truck accidents typically involve large and powerful corporations, they are handled differently than a typical passenger car collision case. If you or a loved one has been the victim of a truck accident, you will face a team of attorneys who will attempt to place the blame for the accident elsewhere. An experienced Tennessee truck accident lawyer is an essential ally to have on your side against a negligent truck company. Contact our office today for an initial consultation and to begin an investigation into the causes of the accident at once.