Home  >  Articles  >  Is the Trucking Company or Truck Driver Liable for Your Truck Accident?

Is the Trucking Company or Truck Driver Liable for Your Truck Accident?

After a truck accident, it may seem easiest to blame the 18-wheeler’s or semi truck’s driver for the incident. However, although these accidents may initially seem the fault of the truck driver, they are sometimes caused by trucking company negligence. When trucking companies are irresponsible in the hiring of drivers, maintenance of vehicles, and other key duties, they can be held legally accountable for any ensuing damages.

Driver Liability Versus Company Liability

In general, truck drivers are liable for accidents caused by their own mistakes, such as failing to check their blind spots when changing lanes. On the other hand, trucking companies are typically liable for policy-related errors, such as over-scheduling their drivers so that they violate the hours of service regulations. However, some trucking companies try to claim the following so that they cannot be held responsible for truck accidents:

  • The driver is an independent contractor, meaning he or she isn’t actually a company employee
  • The vehicle isn’t owned by the company, and therefore isn’t the company’s responsibility to maintain or inspect
  • The cargo isn’t owned by the company, so—especially in cases of hazardous material spills—the company isn’t responsible if it causes anyone harm

These arguments attempt to put most liability on the truck driver, keeping injured motorists from suing a trucking company for its role in an accident. However, federal law clearly states that any trucks or trailers featuring a company’s placard or name ties that company to the truck and its operator. This means that, as long as the company’s name is on the vehicle, the trucking company will assume its regular degree of liability in case of an accident.

Learn More about Trucking Company Negligence Laws in Texas

Pursuing a claim against a trucking company can be a difficult undertaking for an injured motorist after a truck accident. However, if you or someone you love has been injured in an accident, there may be options available to hold the responsible company accountable for its actions. For more information about your legal rights and options, please fill out the contact form at the top of this page today.