Who Might be Liable for a Semi or Commercial Trucking Accident?
As experienced Phoenix truck accident lawyers, one of our first tasks is to have a meticulous investigation undertaken for our client’s commercial trucking accident in order to identify all potentially responsible parties. In addition to the semi or commercial truck driver who may be the main “obvious” cause, there are a number of others who may be responsible, including:
- The trucking company. Trucking companies will have responsibility for accidents caused by their employees in the ordinary course of business. They may also have independent liability if they acted negligently, such as by hiring a driver who did not have a valid license or who had a history of causing accidents.
- A third party driver. If a third party acts negligently, such as swerving in front of a truck driver so that the truck driver must also swerve, the third party driver may also be liable.
- Shippers of goods being carried.
- Dram shop liability. If the truck driver is intoxicated, a restaurant or bar that over-served the driver may also be liable.
- The manufacturer (and possibly a reseller) of defective equipment. If brakes, tires, or any other part of the truck was defective and led to an accident, the manufacturer and also possibly a reseller may be liable.
- Mechanics and auto shops who fail to correctly install equipment. In some cases, truck equipment is not defective, but in effect has been rendered defective because it was not installed correctly. As an example, tires may be sound, but if they fall off because they were not put on correctly, an auto shop may be liable. Mechanics and auto shops may also be liable if they were hired to perform a certain task – such as to make sure that brakes were working properly – and they failed to do so.
- Those responsible for the design and maintenance of roadways. Some accidents are the result of the failure to properly engineer roadways, or the failure thereafter of the entity responsible for roadway maintenance to properly care for the road. As a result of poor maintenance, roadways can be dangerous, particularly when traffic control devices do not work properly, or sections of the road are physically damaged.
- Those causing other distractions. Accidents frequently occur in construction zones, especially at night when lane alterations are in effect and when blinking lights are being used. In some instances, construction companies and others responsible for roadwork may share liability.
Determining Fault in an Arizona Truck Accident
As Phoenix accident lawyers, our role is to determine all those who may be liable so full compensation can be sought for our clients. Typically, we retain accident investigators and other experts in commercial truck accidents in order to determine all of the different factors (and people) that may have contributed to an accident. Once this determination has been made, we will then initiate litigation on behalf of our client against all those who we believe are liable.