Commercial trucks are large, heavy vehicles that require a lot of care and due diligence on behalf of the owner and operator in order to ensure safety. However, truck accidents still happen fairly frequently, and have a much higher chance of causing a serious injury. When an accident does occur, who is held liable?
The easiest answer would be to hold the driver liable, particularly in instances where the accident was caused by driver error. However, this is rarely applicable, and requires that the driver be both the owner and operator of the vehicle. More realistically, the trucking company who owns the truck is the one who will be held liable.
One of the duties truck owners have is to ensure the safety of those on the roads along with their trucks, and they have many obligations they must adhere to in order to do so. If they are negligent on any of them, including maintenance, driver training, and adherence to trucking laws and regulations, they could be held liable in the event of an accident.
For this reason, even in cases of driver error, the trucking company could still be held liable. Truck owners are responsible for the actions of those they put in the driver seats of their fleets, and thus their actions will directly reflect on the company if recklessness or inexperience causes an accident.
Instances of negligent maintenance or equipment failure almost always place exclusive blame on a trucking company. Trucks require extensive maintenance, including constant checking of tires, brakes, fluids, lights, and more. However, all of this maintenance can add up and become expensive, particularly for companies with larger fleets. Frequently, these companies will forego some of this maintenance on their vehicles, which dramatically increases the chance of mechanical failure, and subsequently the chances that their vehicle causes a potentially devastating accident.
If you need assistance after you or a loved one has been injured as a result of a serious trucking accident, call Leavitt, Yamane & Soldner today. In our more than 100 years of combined experience, we have proudly served the islands as some of the premiere Hawaii truck accident attorneys. We bring our knowledge, compassion, and detailed familiarity with the law to each of our cases, and work diligently to protect your rights and best interests after your life is impacted by a truck accident. We have been recognized and honored with industry accolades for our distinguished counsel, including selection by Super Lawyers®.