Trucking Company Liability

Motor Vehicle Collision Lawyers Advocating for People in Syracuse and Beyond

Commercial truck accidents can be devastating, due to the size and weight of the truck. Most truck accident victims think of the truck driver as a source of compensation. However, the truck driver may have insufficient liability coverage to truly compensate accident victims, particularly if there are multiple victims facing catastrophic injuries as a result of the accident. If you were injured in a truck accident, we will also explore the possibility of trucking company liability. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano, our Syracuse truck accident lawyers are dedicated to thoroughly investigating the causes of a collision and pursuing the greatest possible compensation for our injured clients.

Trucking Company Liability

Like truck drivers, trucking companies must abide by numerous federal and state regulations, which have some overlap. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has regulations related to how a truck traveling on interstate highways should be maintained and repaired. The regulations outline the tasks that a trucking company must complete if it wishes to hire or keep interstate truck drivers, such as administering drug and alcohol tests, conducting background checks, checking logbooks, and making sure that truck drivers abide by the hours of service rules. Unfortunately, there are trucking companies that put profits ahead of people. They may give truck drivers deadlines that are too tight, or they may encourage drivers to violate the hours of service rules. They may look the other way while knowing that a truck driver has an alcohol or drug abuse problem.

A trucking company may bear some responsibility for the accident in which you were injured. In some cases, it is only vicariously liable. A trucking company can be held vicariously liable if a truck accident is caused by a truck driver's negligent act or omission in the course and scope of employment. For example, if a truck driver making a delivery tries to beat a yellow light and winds up hitting someone in the intersection after the light has turned red, it may be possible to hold the trucking company vicariously liable for the injuries.

Trucking companies may be held liable if a truck needed maintenance or repair. There are situations in which a trucking company may skip a required maintenance check in order to preserve profits. If someone is injured by an improperly maintained truck, the trucking company may be liable for the injuries.

Trucking companies must abide by state and federal regulations, not only with regard to the maintenance and repair of trucks but also with regard to how they hire, supervise, and train their truck drivers. A trucking company can be held liable for negligent hiring, negligent supervision, or negligent training. When a trucking company hires a truck driver, it is supposed to conduct a background check of the driver, among other things. A trucking company could be liable for negligent hiring if it hired a truck driver without conducting a background check. Also, it could be held liable for negligent hiring if it hired a truck driver after it saw that the driver had a record of DUIs, and drugs or alcohol contributed to your accident.

After an accident, some unscrupulous trucking companies destroy evidence. Under FMCSA regulations, they are only required to keep logbooks, for example, for six months after receiving them. Maintenance records for trucks in service need to be kept for at least 12 months. When a trucking company leases or sells a truck, the records are supposed to be kept for the remaining time left of the 12 months or six months from when the truck leaves the company's control. It is important for you to retain an attorney as soon as possible after an accident occurs so that a spoliation of evidence letter can be sent to the company, warning it that litigation is pending and that it should not destroy any relevant evidence.

Hire a Skillful Syracuse Attorney for Your Truck Accident Case

If you have been involved in a truck accident and suspect that there may be trucking company liability for your injuries, our law firm can help you recover damages from all of the parties responsible for the accident, including the trucking company. DeFrancisco & Falgiatano represents truck accident victims in Syracuse, Rochester, Binghamton, Auburn, Elmira, Norwich, Cortland, Delhi, Herkimer, Watertown, Lowville, Oneida, Wampsville, Utica, Canandaigua, Oswego, Cooperstown, Ithaca, and Lyons. Call our attorneys at 315-479-9000 or contact us via our online form.

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