When two vehicles crash, most people assume that the fault lies with one or both of the drivers. Although vehicular malfunctions and weather conditions, as well as traffic issues, can play a role in crashes, it is usually a driver’s decision or inaction that leads to a serious collision. However, it is not always solely the responsibility of the drivers involved in the crash.
For example, in collisions involving a commercial vehicle, there may be other responsible parties. Truck drivers can cause crashes easily because of the size of their vehicles. Commercial trucks are much harder to control than smaller vehicles.
Unfortunately, some trucking companies have policies that impact the safety of their drivers and everyone who crosses paths with them on the road. If a collision involves specific circumstances related to the business and not just the driver, the business may have some liability for the crash.
Does the company have a terrible safety record?
There is currently a shortage of professional truckers in the United States. Companies have become competitive with offering pay in order to keep drivers on their payroll. Unfortunately, many companies that can’t offer competitive pay wind up hiring drivers with safety issues, Companies with a habit of hiring unskilled or dangerous drivers may put other people at unnecessary risk.
However, it isn’t just hiring bad drivers that could contribute to a business’s liability and poor safety record. Bad internal policies can also play a role. Companies that offer financial incentives for on-time delivery, for example, may induce their drivers to keep going when they legally or medically should not do so.
There are federal rules that limit how long a trucker can drive and mandate breaks after so many hours on the road. Unfortunately, if a company pressures a driver to get deliveries in on time no matter what, they may have to bend or break those rules in order to secure their pay and preserve their job.
Companies may not perform adequate maintenance on their fleet
If you own your own car, you already know that vehicle maintenance isn’t cheap. When you have to maintain a fleet of commercial vehicles, maintenance is a constant expense. Some Denver companies choose to cut costs by putting off necessary maintenance until it is an emergency. That could mean that the truck in question doesn’t drive as safely or stop as quickly as it should.
If inadequate maintenance played a role in your crash, the company that failed to maintain the truck may be responsible. Discussing the circumstances of your trucking accident with an attorney can help you decide if you have grounds to bring action against the company or against the driver involved.