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Truck Accident Theories of Liability

Posted on July 15, 2020
Truck Accident Theories of Liability

Regarding truck accidents, there are some specific legal theories and rules that apply, which could impact the progression of the case and help determine who is liable. Truck drivers and trucking companies are required to follow certain federal and state laws that are in place to protect other drivers, pedestrians, and passengers. The driving force behind these laws is composed of certain legal theories that influence the creation of new laws for liability in trucking accidents.

Both the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the United States Department of Transportation help develop new laws in certain states and throughout the country based on the legal theories.

The following are some of the theories of liability involved in trucking accidents.

The Liability of the Driver

In trucking accident cases, the victim of the accident will, with the help of an attorney, prove that either the driver or another party was responsible for the damages and injuries. Some of the evidence involved in these cases could include witness testimony, weather conditions at the time of the accident, and the evidence present in the truck’s black box, which may help prove that the driver or the company is responsible.

Commercial Driver’s Licenses

Commercial truckers are also required to have a valid Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) to operate these types of vehicles. Neglecting to obtain, carry, or renew a CDL is a violation of relevant state laws that could lead to serious consequences. If a driver is found to lack a valid license during a trucking accident, the driver could face certain legal penalties along with a claim finding the driver liable for any resulting damages. The lack of a valid CDL could also result in repercussions for the employer.

When Drivers Are Allowed to Rest

One specific liability theory that carries legal ramifications is the driver’s need to rest for a certain amount of time after a long period of driving. Resting periods are necessary to allow drivers to decompress and get the rest they need to remain alert and awake while driving. The theory behind rules regarding rest periods began with research and insight into fatigue and its effects on truck drivers.

Legal Theories That Lawyers Form

Truck accident lawyers involved in claims will investigate the incident and, based on what they find, will develop certain theories around what occurred, which may exist in either federal or state laws that the driver, company, or another third party violated. However, it can be difficult to prove liability as an attorney attempts to gather as much evidence as possible.

These liability theories can hugely influence the outcome of trucking accidents, and attorneys may be able to use them to build a case and support the victim’s claim.