Who Is Liable in a Texas Trucking Accident?Houston Legal News
Determining who is liable following a trucking accident can be much more difficult than it is with typical motor vehicle crashes. Large trucks are not always owned by their drivers — or even the company for which they are hauling freight. This means that many parties can be potentially at-fault for the collision.
Some typical parties include the truck driver, the owner of the truck and trailer, the company that leased the truck or trailer, and even the manufacturer of the truck, trailer, tires, or any other component that may have somehow contributed to the Houston semi-truck accident. In some cases, even the shipper or loader of the cargo in the trailer could be found responsible. Maybe a third-party maintenance company is liable because they were involved in maintaining any part of the truck or trailer.
Because there are so many parties that may have played a role in a trucking accident, there is often infighting between these groups.
Let’s take a look at the following example. A large truck with a flatbed trailer loses control while navigating a curve, and the load separates from the truck and collides with a passenger car. The trucking company may argue that a defective trailer hitch caused the crash. The manufacturer of the trailer hitch may then claim that the leading company failed to maintain the hitch properly. The leasing company will then argue that the shipping company is also responsible for failing to secure the load.
Trucking Companies May Be Liable
In the past, trucking companies have put in tremendous effort to avoid being held responsible for Texas trucking accidents. They would do so by obtaining the required permits to operate the truck, but then lease all equipment, trucks, and trailers from the “owner/operator.”
Trucking companies also do not directly employ their drivers. Instead, they are hired on as independent contractors. The trucking company would then give the owner/operator a placard, which would contain the name of the trucking company and all relevant permit numbers. This placard would then be placed on the door of the truck, giving the impression that the truck is owned by the trucking company and that the driver is also employed there. If the trucking company was sued due to a collision, the company would claim that they are not at fault because the driver was not a direct employee nor did it own the equipment. Therefore, the company would argue that they are not responsible for any operation or maintenance of the vehicle.
Trucking Accidents in Houston
In most cases, commercial truck accident victims in Texas are injured by reckless or negligent drivers, and the responsible party can be made to cover the damages resulting from the collision. For over a decade, Connolly Law has helped 18-wheeler accident victims obtain the compensation they deserve. Our qualified Houston trucking injury attorneys will work tirelessly to ensure that your rights are protected under the law. Contact our offices today at 877-CONNLAW to discuss your case today.