Who May Be Responsible for a Truck Accident Fatality?
Posted on: March 24, 2023
There is perhaps no truck accident more catastrophic than one involving a fatality. With their sheer size and high speeds at which most trucks travel, an accident can leave behind serious damage and severe or fatal injuries.
Determining who is liable for a fatal truck accident is complicated, as there are multiple factors at play. However, finding who is responsible for the truck accident is vital for those seeking compensation for their significant losses.
According to the New Jersey State Police, there are an average of 2,000 commercial truck accidents per year that cause up to 3,200 injuries and over 65 deaths. Multiple parties can be held liable for the damages and injuries that occur in truck accidents. Potential liable parties include:
- Truck driver: The actions of the truck driver can be reckless or negligent, leading to an accident. Negligence can include distracted driving, driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and driving while fatigued. Fortunately, many trucks have electronic logging devices (ELDs) installed, which can track the habits of the truck driver.
- Trucking company: The trucking company must employ drivers with the correct licenses and training to operate their vehicles. Failure to do so will likely lead to an accident. Trucking companies can also be held liable if they force their drivers to work long hours and do not allow breaks.
- Truck manufacturer: A truck manufacturer could be held liable if a known defective part is used on the truck and causes an accident.
- Maintenance company: Maintenance companies tasked with checking and repairing a truck can be held liable if they fail to repair correctly or neglect to do a repair altogether.
- Facility who loaded the truck: Overloading a truck or improperly securing cargo can cause a driver to lose control of the vehicle.
The trucking industry is regulated by New Jersey law, as well as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Requirements that are enforced include the driver’s hours behind the wheel, submission of duty logs, drug and alcohol testing, and size and weight standards.
Because fatal truck accidents usually involve multiple parties who could be held liable, it is imperative to have the assistance of a truck accident lawyer. Truck drivers’ employers are usually large powerful companies protected by insurance policies designed to protect their reputation and money.
Not only would a truck accident lawyer handle communications with insurance companies, but they could also investigate the accident to its fullest extent, gathering evidence to help you pursue compensation and justice.
Freehold Truck Accident Lawyers at Ellis Law Help Clients Affected by Fatal Truck Accidents
A truck accident often leaves behind significant damage. If your loved one passed away in a fatal truck accident, speak with one of our Freehold truck accident lawyers at Ellis Law. Call us at 732-308-0200 or fill out our online form for a free consultation. Located in Freehold, New Jersey, we serve clients in Asbury Park, East Brunswick, Toms River, Middletown, Jersey City, Long Branch, Neptune, Hudson County, Union County, Essex County, Monmouth County, Marlboro, and Ocean County, as well as Brooklyn and New York City.