How Is Fault Determined in a Commercial Truck Accident?

Posted On April 12, 2024 / By Manning Law / Truck Accidents

Being involved in a commercial truck accident can be devastating in more ways than one. If you are a victim of this type of crash in Colorado, you may be able to recover financial compensation for your losses by holding one or more parties accountable. Before you can file a truck accident claim, however, the at-fault party must be determined and identified.

Searching for Negligence

Negligence is the foundation for most personal injury cases. The definition of negligence is the failure to act with proper care, resulting in harm or injury to others. Determining fault after a truck accident requires analyzing the circumstances to search for signs of negligence.

For example, if a truck driver was speeding and this resulted in the driver losing control of the truck and crashing, this constitutes negligence and could make the truck driver legally responsible for the accident. The search for negligence will most likely involve an investigation by the police, the trucking company, insurance companies and law firms.

If a truck accident involves the apparent commission of a crime, such as drunk driving, the police will conduct a more thorough investigation. Otherwise, you may need to hire a Denver truck accident attorney to look into who or what may have caused the truck accident for you. An investigation will search for signs that one or more parties acted outside of their duties of care, resulting in the collision.

Identifying the Liable Parties

It is more difficult to determine fault in a commercial truck accident than a standard car accident, as more parties are involved. Rather than only two individual drivers, a commercial truck accident can involve multiple parties.

The liable party could be one or more of the following:

  • The truck driver: if a truck driver error, such as speeding, distracted driving, driving under the influence or driver fatigue caused the crash, the driver could be held liable.
  • The trucking company: trucking companies are held vicariously liable for the actions of their truck drivers, in most cases. A truck company could also be held liable for its own negligence, such as failing to properly train drivers or maintain its fleet.
  • A third-party driver: a driver outside of the truck could be held responsible if he or she caused the crash, such as by making an unsafe lane change or running a red light.
  • A truck manufacturer: a product liability claim could be filed against the manufacturer of a truck or truck part for a defect that contributed to the crash, such as bad brakes or a tire blowout.
  • A cargo or loading company: an overloaded or improperly secured bed of cargo could put a truck off-balance and cause a rollover. In this case, the cargo company could be held liable.
  • A truck maintenance company: poor truck maintenance can lead to part breakdowns and malfunctions that cause trucking accidents. These collisions could point to maintenance company liability.

Colorado is a fault state, meaning the person or party most at fault for causing a motor vehicle accident is held responsible for paying for a victim’s injuries. An investigation will seek to uncover the cause of the truck accident to identify which person or party is at fault.

If you need assistance determining fault for your recent commercial truck accident in Colorado, request a free consultation at Manning Law by calling (720) 515-3191.