When a truck driver causes a car accident, the company that employs him or her may be vicariously liable, even if it was not negligent. Trucking companies may try to skirt liability by claiming the driver is an independent contractor or that the equipment is rented. Talk to a lawyer about whether these defenses are valid for your case, though.
But in many cases, direct trucking company liability may apply, meaning the company’s own actions were negligent and contributed to the wreck. Below are some actions that may leave the company directly liable.
Failing to Maintain the Vehicle
If a trucking company does not perform maintenance on its vehicles as it should, then the company may be directly liable for any accidents caused by a vehicle part defect or failure. Your lawyer can review maintenance records for the truck and use them as evidence to prove negligence.
Failing to Undergo Required Inspections or Meet Federal Standards
Another thing that the trucking company is responsible for is ensuring that the truck undergoes and passes periodic inspections and meets all federal and state standards. If the company doesn’t meet these standards and an accident occurs that involves a part of the vehicle that didn’t meet standards, the trucking company may be directly liable. Your attorney can also recover inspection records.
Requiring Unreasonable Deadlines/Driving Times
If the trucking company sets unreasonable deadlines or requires unreasonable driving times, leading to the driver being overworked and over fatigued, then the truck company may be liable directly. Truck drivers must not drive more than 11 hours or beyond the 14th hour after coming on duty. They must also take required rest periods and off-duty periods under these hours of service rules.
Logbooks that the trucking company must keep for at least six months can help prove violation of these rules. A lawyer can send a spoliation letter to prevent destruction of the records.
Speak with a Truck Accident Attorney for Help Proving Liability
If you’ve been in a truck accident in Doylestown and believe that a trucking company may be directly liable for your injuries, act quickly. In Pennsylvania, you have just two years to bring your case under the state’s statute of limitations. At Cordisco & Saile LLC, our attorneys are ready to represent you and secure the records and other evidence to prove negligence and liability. Call us today at 215-642-2335 or simply fill out our online contact form.