If you or a loved one was blindsided by a commercial vehicle or truck accident, you may be wondering: after an accident with a truck, who is at fault? Proving fault in a truck accident can be a complicated matter, often requiring the assistance of a personal injury lawyer who has experience with trucking accident cases.

What Exactly Is Fault Liability?

Negligence involves a claim based upon fault liability, and it is designed to hold someone liable for injuries that they have caused directly to another person. While it doesn’t deal with intentional injury or conduct, negligence happens when there is a breach of the duty of reasonable care. Essentially, the law of negligence holds an at-fault party responsible for the injuries they have caused in an accident if they acted in a way that a reasonable person would not have acted.

Who Can Be at Fault for a Trucking Accident?

There are multiple people or entities that may be at fault for a trucking accident. First, the accident may be the fault of the driver. This happens in cases where the truck driver fails to drive safely, breaching their duty of reasonable care. Examples include speeding, not signaling, following too closely, or otherwise driving recklessly or ignoring the rules of the road. A truck driver may also be considered negligent when driving while fatigued or drowsy, distracted, or under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Additionally, there are instances where a trucking company may be liable for negligence after a truck accident. For example, if the truck had an issue that should have been found and corrected—such as a brake system failure—but the company failed to inspect or maintain the truck properly, the company may be liable for negligence. Moreover, if the truck was improperly loaded, or if the truck company hired a driver who was unqualified, those instances may give rise to liability for negligence.

In some cases, even the manufacturer of the truck may be liable, if there was a defective or dangerous condition—such as faulty brakes—that contributed to the cause of the accident. Fault liability doesn’t have to be exclusive to one defendant, so it is possible that your truck accident claim needs to be brought against multiple parties. In fact, even if you were partially at fault, you may be able to bring a claim and potentially recover compensation. Because fault liability is such a complicated issue, you should consult with an experienced and knowledgeable truck accident lawyer about the particular facts of your case.

How is Negligence Proven in Trucking Accident Lawsuits?

To prevail on a claim for negligence, you will need to prove four elements:

  1. That the responsible party owed you a duty of reasonable care
  2. That the party breached their duty towards you
  3. That they directly caused you damages or injury
  4. That you’ve suffered actual monetary damages as a result

How Is Fault Proven in a Trucking Accident?

Fault is proven through the use of evidence, which makes it essential that you preserve important evidence in your case. For example, after the accident, you should try to take pictures of the scene, the damage to your vehicle, and any personal injuries you have suffered. You should also get contact information for any witnesses and take their written statements or accounts of what occurred at the scene. Proper documentation, such as any police reports, medical records, and an accounting of your damages, is also a key component to proving fault liability after a trucking accident.

Proving fault in a trucking accident requires a thorough investigation of the facts, researching applicable laws on negligence and liability, and compiling relevant evidence to present during settlement negotiations and in court. It is important to consult with an attorney who understands the nuances of fault liability specific to truck accident cases.

How Can Johnson Garcia Help With Your Truck Accident Claim for Negligence?

A negligence claim can quickly become complicated, particularly when insurance companies are involved and liability and damages are being questioned. An experienced truck accident lawyer can help negotiate with the responsible party and their insurance company towards a fair and reasonable settlement, and they can prepare a strong negligence case on your behalf to present in court.

The attorneys at Johnson Garcia have more than 35 years of experience in helping victims of trucking accidents obtain sizable settlements and resolve their claims. If you’ve been injured in a truck accident caused by the negligence of another party, call our Houston-based legal team at Johnson Garcia. Even when the other party or their insurer are not negotiating fairly, the personal injury attorneys at Johnson Garcia can help, and we will file a lawsuit on your behalf and take your case to trial if needed. We can be reached by phone at 832-844-6700.