After most auto accidents, it’s relatively simple to figure out who’s at fault. Officials typically look at the details and find that one or both drivers were doing things they weren’t supposed to be doing. Speeding. Texting. Swerving suddenly into another lane. Depending how much the drivers contributed to the crash, they’re assigned a percentage of the blame.
With truck crashes, though, things get trickier. Not only are truck accidents far more dangerous, but there are more factors at play. The Advocate recently hinted at some of these in its report about the truck crash on I-10 that led to the release of thousands of gallons of gas.
Truck crashes aren’t always about the driver
Fortunately, the truck accident covered by The Advocate didn’t lead to any serious injuries. It damaged the environment. There will likely be significant costs for the cleanup. But the upside is that no one was killed or maimed. Instead, the damages are mostly economic.
To recover those damages, the city of Port Allen, whose mayor said the cleanup could take two days, will likely file an insurance claim. If the claim proceeds like most injury claims filed after truck accidents, the city will receive a subpar offer and may need to sue to get a fair offer.
Who would they sue? That’s the real issue we see illustrated in this case. The driver assuredly made an error when he rolled the truck over the guardrail. But the driver’s not the only actor in this truck crash.
The trucking industry is governed by state and federal regulations, and that means the fault in a truck accident may lie with:
- The driver. The driver could be at fault if he or she broke the rules or acted carelessly.
- The truck company. The truck company could be at fault for breaking rules such as those for maximum load weight, driver rest or safety guidelines for hazardous waste. It might also be at fault if it didn’t properly screen its employees. This may be the case in the I-10 accident where the driver didn’t have a valid license.
- Manufacturers, mechanics or suppliers. These people and companies could be held to blame for accidents in which their work permitted trucks to go on the road with faulty parts.
Getting to the bottom of things
Determining who’s responsible for a truck crash can take a lot of work. This is especially true because truck companies are usually armed with lawyers ready to throw the blame at you. Victims often need experienced lawyers to discover and reveal the true ratio of blame between all the parties involved.