Who May Be Liable For A Wide-Turn Commercial Trucking Accident?
When a wide-turn accident involving a commercial truck occurs, multiple parties are often liable. While these accidents are primarily due to the truck driver’s negligence, their employer could also be held financially responsible if the truck driver was working within the scope of their work duties. These parties could also be liable:
- The company responsible for loading and securing the cargo
- The truck maintenance team
- The truck or truck part manufacturer
- Another driver
A truck accident attorney from our firm can investigate to identify the liable party in your case.
Potentially Liable Parties in a Wide-Turn Commercial Trucking Accident
A wide-turn commercial trucking accident is known to have more than one party that is accountable for damages and injuries. Here are a few examples of parties that could be held liable for a wide-turn accident, and possible reasons:
- Truck Driver: Wide-turn accidents are mainly a result of the driver’s negligence. For example, the truck driver may be distracted, speeding, or fatigued behind the wheel. It’s also the truck driver’s responsibility to understand how to operate their commercial vehicle correctly, including how to make a wide turn safely.
- Truck Manufacturer and Parts Maker:Truck accidents may occur due to the truck or a specific part malfunctioning. Examples include brake failures, tire blowouts, and problems with the steering system.
- Truck Maintenance Team: A truck could also malfunction due to an improperly installed part or poor maintenance. The team or company responsible for these services could be liable if this contributes to a collision.
- Cargo Loaders: A truck accident may occur due to improper loading of the cargo. For instance, a load shift during a wide turn can cause the truck to go off-balance and tip over. Inexperienced or negligent loaders may not know the importance of the proper distribution of weight.
- Trucking Company: After a truck accident, the company that had hired the driver might be liable. This could be through vicarious liability as the trucker’s employer, or due to the company taking shortcuts around safety, overworking their drivers to meet unrealistic goals, or a lack of regular truck inspection.
- Government Agencies and Contractors: If the cause of a truck accident is a roadway hazard, like broken pavement, the local or state government responsible for maintaining the highway could be held liable.
How Does a Wide-Turn Accident Occur?
A report by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) says that commercial trucks can be up to 75 feet in length. Due to this excessive length, these trucks tend to encroach on other lanes when the drivers make turns. When not performed properly, large trucks crash into other vehicles when making such a turn.
It’s particularly challenging when the truck driver is making a right-hand turn. A trucker usually swings the truck to the left to complete the turn, which can cause the trailer to enter into oncoming traffic.
How to Identify the Liable Party in a Trucking Accident Case
An in-depth investigation can help identify all potentially liable parties in the case. In addition to law enforcement and insurance companies, your truck accident lawyer will investigate the collision to determine what happened and who was involved. The evidence they collect can help you prove liability and your right to compensation.
How Can You Avoid Wide-Turn Accidents?
Truck drivers must adhere to the set procedures for making a wide turn. They should be trained appropriately and take the necessary precautions to avoid collisions with others.
While it’s challenging to eliminate all risks of accidents happening, you can take the following steps to reduce the risk of this type of collision:
- Stay away from the truck’s blind spot, as this will help make the driver aware of your vehicle so they can take steps to avoid it.
- Avoid overtaking a truck on the right side, especially if it appears to be flashing a right turn signal.
- Give priority and room to a truck making a wide turn to avoid an accident.