Trucks, tractor-trailers, and other commercial vehicles that transport
goods and products use our public roads and highways on a daily basis.
Because they’re much larger, heavier, and slower vehicles than passenger
cars, pickup trucks, and motorcycles, they also pose innumerable risks
to those around them, including the threat of
catastrophic injuries or death when vulnerable motorists are involved in trucking accidents.
To manage these risks and protect the rights of accident victims, the
federal government and states across the country enforce a number of laws
and safety regulations.
At Shrager & Sachs, our Philadelphia
personal injury lawyers know the regulations governing truck and commercial vehicle safety,
as well as the laws and legal standards that apply to personal injury
cases involving victims who suffer harm in preventable
truck accidents. In fact, our legal team has extensive experience representing victims
of commercial trucking accidents, and Partner Rob Sachs has shared his
insight on litigating these cases at public speaking engagements and legal
seminars across the country.
While we have the experience and insight to help clients determine who’s
at fault for their damages – including losses created by their medical
expenses, pain and suffering, and missed income – we know many victims
find the concept of fault and liability confusing – especially when
trucking accidents have numerous potential causes, and numerous parties
that may be to blame. Below, we discuss a few of the parties commonly
held accountable in truck accident cases:
Commercial Driver – The majority of auto accidents are caused by driver negligence
and error. Should the driver of a commercial vehicle commit traffic infractions
(i.e. running a red light, unsafe lane changes, etc.), violate safety
regulations (including stricter laws regarding driving under the influence),
or otherwise act negligently, they can potentially be held liable for
any accidents and injuries they cause as a result.
Trucking Operator – While commercial drivers often commit errors or acts of negligence
that make them accountable for truck accidents, it is often the trucking
companies for whom they work that are held financially liable in personal
injury cases. In addition to being held liable for the conduct of their
drivers, trucking operators can also be held accountable when their own
actions lead to preventable wrecks. This can include negligent hiring
or supervision of unfit drivers and other employees, as well as violations
that increase accident risks, such as cargo securement violations, failures
to adequately maintain vehicles, and more.
Third Party Companies – Commercial trucking involves a lot of moving parts, which means
third parties and contractors may be involved in operations involving
tractor-trailers and other commercial vehicles. These may include maintenance
companies contracted to keep commercial trucks properly maintained and
inspected per federal regulations, or distributors that load and unload
vehicles. Should these parties act negligently or commit violations, they
too may be held liable (in part or in addition to the trucking company)
when victims suffer harm in accidents that could and should have been
Automakers / Product Manufacturers – Not all truck wrecks stem from acts of negligence involving drivers,
trucking companies, or others involving in the day-to-day operations of
commercial vehicles. Some are caused by inherently unsafe and defective
products, including auto parts such as tires or brakes. Under product
liability laws, manufacturers of defective auto parts and consumer products
can be held liable for damages victims suffer.
Because every case is different, determining who caused your truck accident,
injuries, and damages will always be a matter that demands individualized
attention and investigation. Our legal team at Shrager & Sachs has
the resources to conduct appropriate investigations into the underlying
cause of a trucking wreck, the knowledge of federal laws needed to identify
when violations occur, and the insight to effectively hold at-fault parties
If you wish to discuss a recent accident involving any type of tractor-trailer
or commercial vehicle,
contact us today for a free consultation.