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How To Prove Fault In A Truck Accident

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Proving Fault For A Trucking Accident

Truck Accidents can be extremely dangerous for all involved parties and the person or company that caused the accident must be held liable for the accident. But sometimes proving who caused the accident isn’t so easy. It typically requires experienced Colorado truck accident attorneys to do some digging and get down to the bottom of it if there were injuries involved, otherwise you may be able to just use the police reports and local, state and federal laws surrounding commercial truck driving.

car crashes into truck and needs to figure out who is at fault

Procedures After The Accident

First, we want to look at the police report from the accident and see what observations the police made about the crash. They have many different parameters they look at on the crash scene, as well as interviewing the parties that were involved in the wreck. From there, they will collect evidence and make their determination for who was at fault for starting the accident.

Second, the local, state & federal laws for normal drivers and commercial cdl drivers will need to be looked at closely to see if any laws were broken by either of the involved parties. If a law was broken that led to the start of the accident, then the person who broke the law and caused the crash will take the blame. This can be a regular driver, not using a turn signal and swerving into the truck or the truck driver not paying attention because they have been driving for too many hours and hit the car next to them. There are many different things that could have started the accident, but looking deep into the details of each driver during the time of the accident will potentially reveal some valuable information to your case.

Sometimes no laws were broken, but the accident happened anyway. In these situations, it will be much harder to determine fault and will likely rely heavily on the police report for determination. Some of these situations also end up in being a shared fault, if both parties did something that likely played a role in the accident taking place. In other cases, the accident could have been the fault of the trucking company, their maintenance providers, faulty parts or many other reasons that we will go through next.

Parties That May Be Liable

Each truck accident case is different and in many cases, the accident was caused by something completely out of the driver’s control. These are things like faulty parts on the truck, improper maintenance, improper load management and more. Some of the most common parties that are liable are as follows:

  • The driver of the commercial truck/vehicle – In many cases, the driver of the truck is the person liable as they often break the rules of responsible professional drivers by doing things such as driving for too many hours, driving while intoxicated or driving while drowsy. They also are notorious for speeding and reckless driving, especially when they are running behind on their deadlines to deliver their load.
  • The company responsible for the truck and route – If the trucking company is forcing it’s drivers to continue driving past their legal amount of driving time per day, then they would be liable for any accidents that are caused by their drivers. Many times a company is running behind with their routes due to bad weather or other factors and will overwork their drivers or loading staff which can lead to improper weight distribution or drivers that are not fit to do their routes.
  • The company that does maintenance on the truck – If the company that does their truck maintenance service skips over a required step in their maintenance plan or fails to check on something that later turns out to be the root cause of the accident, then the service company would be held liable for the accident. This is a common situation with old bald tires, brake jobs that were done improperly and many other types of faulty systems that could have been prevented with proper maintenance.
  • The manufacturer of the truck – If there were parts on the truck that were not manufactured correctly which led them to fail during operation and that part failure led to an accident, then the truck manufacturer would be held liable. Many companies skip steps during their manufacturing processes or overlook something during the design process which can lead to unexpected part failures. When these parts fail and cause an accident, you can bet that the insurance company is going to hold the truck manufacturer liable for their actions.
  • The person or company responsible for properly loading the tractor trailer – Sometimes the driver of the truck will load their trailers and sometimes there is a third party that loads the trailer with whatever products they need to transport. But when the person loading the truck does not calculate the entire weight of the load and place the load properly along the right areas of the trailer, this can cause dangerous conditions for the trailer and it could cause it to unexpectedly roll over which can be devastating to the people around you. If this happens, the person loading the truck improperly would be held responsible for improper weight distribution during the loading process and in turn be liable for the accident it caused.
  • The other driver or pedestrian – Many times, other drivers or pedestrians are the root cause of accidents with semi trucks. A lot of drivers miscalculate what truck drivers can do with their vehicles or think that they can see them when they can’t, which turns into accidents quite often. The most common accident is truckers rear ending cars because someone cuts them off and slams on the brakes but the truck can’t get stopped in time. Blind spots are notorious areas for collisions with other vehicles as well since people expect the trucker to be able to see them at all times. If you started the accident, you can bet you will be held liable for it.

There May Be Multiple At-Fault Parties

In the event that there are multiple things that played a role in causing the accident, then multiple parties may be held liable for the accident. For example, if a truck driver had been speeding due to running behind schedule and the car in front of them made an illegal lane change in front of the truck and then slowed down quickly which led to them getting rear ended by the truck, then the trucker would be partially at fault for speeding, but the other driver would also be liable for making an illegal lane change. There are countless other scenarios where multiple parties could have been held liable, but you get the point. If anyone’s actions played a role in causing the accident, they are liable to an extent.

Why Proving Fault Matters After A Semi Truck Accident

Proving fault after a truck accident is extremely important because it determines who is going to pay to fix everything that was damaged due to the accident. If there were also personal injuries as a result of the accident, then the at fault party will also have to pay for the injured persons medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, future lost income and more. These are called economic and non-economic damages and the bill for these can get very large very quickly in truck accidents, sometimes into the millions of dollars in settlement payout. That is why it matters whose fault the accident was. Nobody wants to foot that bill if they weren’t responsible, so always make sure to drive safely!

How An Attorney Can Help You Recover Compensation

At Rector Stuzynski LLC, we have dealt with countless commercial trucking accident claims over the years and we know how to get exceptional results for our clients. If you were injured in a truck accident, don’t worry, our law firm will handle everything for you from start to finish. Our team of compassionate legal staff will keep you informed during the entire process and prepare your case with minimal effort from you so you can focus on recovering and healing from your injuries. We will work in the background to get you the best possible settlement for your injuries and hold the at fault parties accountable for their actions. Don’t settle for less, settle for the best with Rector Stuzynski LLC. Give us a call anytime or stop by our office in Colorado Springs for a free consultation on your case.

Areas We Serve

We serve clients injured anywhere throughout the state of Colorado, but we focus on residents of these areas: Colorado Springs, Manitou Springs, Fountain, Briargate, Monument, Black Forest, Pueblo, Canon City, Larkspur, Security-Widefield, Peyton, Castle Rock, Teller County, El Paso County, Elbert County, Park County, Douglas County and beyond.