Who is Liable in a Truck Accident in Ontario, CA?

Ontario truck accidents are some of the most threatening of all auto accidents to passenger vehicles on the road. Due to their severity, these types of cases can be quite complex, holding multiple people accountable for the crash. However, receiving compensation from the at-fault parties will not be simple. Here is everything you need to know regarding liability in a truck accident case.

Who is Liable for a Truck Accident?

Determining Liability in a Truck Accident

Determining truck accident liability isn’t easy. Some are run by owner-operators, while others are driven by company-assigned truck drivers or independent contractors who lease their trucks from big companies. The following parties can be held liable for a truck accident.

Truck Driver

Due to reckless or careless actions, truckers are often the primary cause of most truck accidents. Some of these drivers may have a bad driving record or a history of moving violations, while others may have just acted negligently behind the wheel. Some of the most common reasons for accidents caused by a negligent truck driver include:

  • Fatigue, driving while tired

  • Distracted driving

  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol

  • Speeding

  • Not following traffic signals or signs

  • Impatience, or reckless driving

  • Violating CA’s hours of service laws

If a black box is present in the commercial truck, the recorded data can be reviewed to determine if the truck driver surpassed the legal speed limit or if the driver failed to brake and prevent the collision from occurring.

Trucking Company

Although a trucker’s negligent driving can be to blame for a motor vehicle accident, the trucking company to which they are employed can still be held liable for damages, as well. This is due to the simple fact that employers are responsible for their employees’ actions, even when they are remote.

Companies have an obligation to only hire qualified candidates who hold a commercial driver’s license and are capable of operating large vehicles, like an 18-wheeler, tractor-trailer, or big rig. Employers are also required to conduct a thorough background check so that they do not hire anyone who has a history of DUIs or a poor driving record. After hiring, employers are then responsible for training their truck drivers, as well as performing ongoing inspections to ensure their employees are maintaining safe driving practices.

Truck companies can also be held liable when they:

  • Do not conduct ongoing drug tests

  • Neglect to hire fully qualified drivers

  • Fail to properly train drivers

  • Do not check to see if the candidate has a poor driving record

  • Violate California’s labor laws and disallow drivers from taking rest breaks

Truck Manufacturer

Vehicle manufacturers, as well as part manufacturers, can be held responsible for a crash if they produced a faulty or defective product that ultimately led to the truck accident. Similarly, trucking companies may also be held liable if they failed to maintain their trucks or check for such product defects.

Every truck company is responsible for the ongoing maintenance of its vehicles. Failing to check for any imperfections will place employers and manufacturers at fault. Various automotive defects can include:

  • Transmission or system failure

  • Brake issues

  • Steering wheel failure

  • Improperly-functioning signals/lighting

  • Tire blowouts

In such situations where multiple companies or people may have contributed to the trucking accident, each party will attempt to avoid accountability and place the blame on each other. It’s vital that truck accident victims are aware of this and prepare accordingly.

Truck Loading Company

Another party who is often known to contribute to a truck accident is the loading company or product supplier. While truckers are responsible for hauling cargo long distances, the drivers themselves do not typically load the truck. Therefore, if the cargo is not loaded properly and secured into place, the person or people who loaded the trailer can be held liable if an accident ensued.

When cargo is not properly safeguarded, the objects in the truck may shift around, creating a weight imbalance and tip the truck over. Another potential incident from an improperly loaded tractor-trailer, is loose cargo falling out of the bed onto the roads and obstructing traffic.

Legal Assistance for Truck Accident Cases

How an Ontario Truck Accident Lawyer Can Help

After sustaining injuries from a commercial truck accident, victims of these crashes will have to confront a number of obstacles–the main one being who file a personal injury claim against.

Truck accident lawyers in Ontario, California, know how to investigate commercial truck accidents thoroughly and assist clients in getting their lives back to normal. An experienced attorney can help identify every at-fault party and work to hold each accountable. Additionally, an attorney will provide unbiased insight, so their judgment is not clouded by subjective perception. Benefits of working with a California-based law firm include:

  • Recruiting a qualified professional to investigate the accident scene, obtain and safeguard critical information, and recreate the accident

  • Collecting evidence quickly

  • Interviewing the responding police officers regarding the accident

  • Probing safety ratings from the state’s administration for the individual or company who owns the truck

  • Identifying potential damages

  • Questioning witnesses

  • Handling your legal proceedings if a truck accident lawsuit should be pursued

  • Positioning your case to maximize the compensation

In addition to the tasks mentioned above, an accident attorney also offers you guidance and advice throughout your case. While this may be your first time getting in touch with an Ontario truck accident lawyer, a seasoned attorney will have the expertise and experience to provide assistance. Their experience with similar cases can offer victims:

  • Assistance with organizing supporting resources and records

  • Advice about circumventing the common traps in making a documented statement with the insurance firm

  • Knowledge about federal and state laws/regulations governing truckers

  • Familiarity with insurance company tactics and the ways to handle them

  • Understanding the procedure and fulfilling each step meticulously

Why Hire a Truck Accident Attorney?

Why Hire a Truck Accident Attorney?

Here are some of the benefits of hiring an accident attorney for a truck accident claim.

Better Understanding of the Claims

In case of an uncertain route, it’s always better to connect with a lawyer to pursue claims for your truck accident case. Only a qualified professional can handle the case in the right way and make the final claim. Law firms and attorneys are experts who better understand the related law clauses that offer protection and safety to their clients.

Handle the Insurance Provider

Whether the company insures your vehicle or not, insurance providers try every possible way to decrease the compensation amount when it comes to damages and accident compensation or claims. Your truck accident lawyer can help you make a fair deal for you during this time.

Address Damages and Injuries

With the assistance of a legal professional, it’s easy to substantiate the damages and injuries caused by truck crashes. For the process of negotiation, they can help you gather all the related proof and documents that are needed. This is because only a qualified attorney knows the most effective ways to make a reasonable settlement and address the facts.

Know the Laws and Rules That Strengthen Your Claim

When it comes to the regulations and laws, a critical concern is an awareness regarding those codes of conduct and rules. So, if you want to make your claims following the accident, it’s better to get the help of an accident attorney.

Letting a Truck Accident Lawyer Handle Your Claim

Wrapping Up

Undoubtedly, legal procedures can be overwhelming and complex for an accident involving commercial trucks. In this case, an Ontario truck accident lawyer can deal with all involved parties and fight to get you the compensation you deserve.

At Armstrong Accident Attorneys, our legal team has built a winning reputation and recovered millions for previous clients. To learn more about our services and how we can help you with your truck accident case, schedule a free consultation with us today.

Reach out to us online, or call us to schedule your complimentary case evaluation.

Scroll to top