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Who is Liable in a Trucking Accident?

Although all motor vehicle accidents can result in complicated, drawn out legal battles with regard to liability, few are more complex than those involving large trucks. Collisions with other passenger cars generally only involve two parties—the drivers. But liability in a large truck accident can involve a long list of parties, including both drivers, the trucking company, cargo company, parts manufacturer, and more. If you have been involved in a large trucking accident, the information below will help you determine how to move forward.

Trucking Accident Statistics

The statistics below shed some light on the frequency with which large truck accidents occur. Although they only account for about three percent of all motor vehicle accidents, large truck accidents have a significantly higher risk of being fatal.

  • There are about 500,000 large truck accidents every year.
  • Approximately 130,000 people are injured in collisions with large trucks each year.
  • Nearly 5,000 people are killed in large truck accidents annually.
  • Fatal trucking accidents cost more than $20 billion annually in the United States.
  • The average cost of a large truck accident is nearly $60,000.
  • Human error is a factor in nearly 90 percent of all large truck accidents.
  • Fatigue is a factor in about 30 percent of all large truck accidents.

When a trucking accident occurs, the chain of potentially-liable parties often argue over whose insurance company is responsible for compensating the victim. If, for example, the trucking company says that the cause of the accident was defective tires, the tire company can point the finger back at the trucking company, claiming that the tires should have been replaced months earlier. For this reason, and many others, it is essential to work with an experienced Boston trucking accident attorney if you wish to obtain the compensation you deserve.

Keeping a Distance

Trucking companies will try everything possible to avoid liability in an accident involving one of their trucks. Many companies lease the trucks and equipment from a third-party and use independent contractors as drivers, instead of employees. By distancing themselves from the driver and the vehicle, trucking companies are sometimes off the hook following an accident…but not always.

To avoid liability in an accident involving a leased truck or a driver who is an independent contractor, a trucking company may argue that it is not liable because:

  • The driver was not its employee;
  • It does not own the truck or any related equipment

In the past, this frequently worked. Due to stricter federal laws and regulations in recent years, however, companies that own a truck permit are potentially responsible for any accidents involving trucks leased to it. This is true even if the company is not the owner/operator and even if the driver is an independent contractor. Even so, bringing a lawsuit against a trucking company can be a complex process. This is where having an experienced MA trucking accident attorney can make all the difference in the world.

Altman & Altman, LLP – Boston’s Premier Trucking Accident Law Firm

If you have been injured due to another’s negligence, the skilled legal team at Altman & Altman, LLP can help. We have been protecting the rights of accident and injury victims for more than 50 years. It is our goal to get you the compensation you deserve so that you can get on with your life. Our experienced, knowledgeable attorneys will thoroughly analyze the details of your case to determine the most appropriate legal strategy, and we’ll ensure that you fully understand your rights and options before moving forward. We have an impressive track record of obtaining compensation for our clients, and we want to help you. If you have been harmed due to the negligence of a truck driver or trucking company, contact Altman & Altman, LLP today for a free and confidential consultation about your case.