Most tractor-trailer drivers travel thousands of miles each year without having an accident. Still, in 2018 alone, there were almost 500,000 accidents involving commercial trucks on U.S. roadways. That year, trucks played a role in 1% of fatal accidents and more than 20% of injury-causing ones.
If you suffer a catastrophic injury in a collision with a tractor-trailer, your first instinct may be to seek financial compensation from the driver and trucking company. While these parties certainly may bear responsibility for the crash, three independent parties may also be to blame.
1. The truck’s mechanic
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has strict maintenance requirements for commercial trucks. To ensure a vehicle complies with these, trucking companies often contract with third-party mechanics. A mechanic who misses a major problem, completes a substandard repair or damages the truck may be partly or even mostly responsible for future crashes.
2. The parts manufacturer or supplier
Parts manufacturers often must compete in a crowded marketplace. To keep costs low for themselves and their customers, they may use inferior components, tinker with part designs or otherwise cut corners. Regrettably, if a safety-related component on a truck malfunctions, a collision may be imminent.
3. The medical examiner
Commercial truck drivers must undergo regular health screening to determine whether they are healthy enough to drive safely. During these screenings, doctors or other health care professionals should complete extensive physical examinations. If the medical examiner simply rubber stamps a health screening, he or she may play a role in the trucker’s accident.
You may need substantial financial compensation to pay for diagnosing, treating and managing your accident-related injuries. Ultimately, to ensure you receive what you deserve, it may be advisable to assign blame to the trucker, trucking company and anyone else who contributed to the crash.