truck on highway

Who Is Liable for a Commercial Trucking Accident?

Trucking accidents are among some of the most catastrophic accidents on the roads. Given the sheer size of commercial trucks, trucking accidents often result in serious injuries and even death.

Issues surrounding liability for trucking accidents can be complex and confusing, and often involve several parties and possible defendants. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the trucking accident, the following parties might be liable:

  • Trucking company. Trucking companies are responsible for making sure that their trucks are maintained and operated safely. They are also subject to industry-wide specific rules and regulations. If the trucking company or truck driver fails to comply with their obligations, the trucking company could be liable in a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit.
  • Truck driver. Truckers, like all motorists, have an obligation to operate their trucks in a safe manner. Distracted driving, speeding, and failing to follow hours-of-service regulations can all result in trucker liability.
  • Negligent motorist. All motorists are obligated to operate their vehicles safely according to the appropriate standard of care. If a negligent motorist causes a trucking accident, he or she could be liable for any resulting injuries or damages.
  • Truck manufacturer. When a trucking accident is caused by a truck defect, the truck manufacturer may be liable in a product liability lawsuit.
  • Broker/shipper. While a company is generally not liable for negligent acts committed by an independent contractor performing work on that company’s behalf, but a shipper/broker might be liable for a trucking accident if it was negligent in choosing the trucking company to ship its goods or if it negligently loads the tractor-trailer and a trucking accident occurs as a result.
  • Party responsible for designing/maintaining road. If a trucking accident is caused or exacerbated by a road defect, such as an unsafe bridge or lack of guardrails, the public entity responsible for designing or maintaining the roadway can be held liable.

Contact an Experienced Trucking Accident Lawyer

Determining the cause of a trucking accident is an important part of the legal analysis, affecting issues of liability, procedure, and damages. At Cogan & Power, P.C., our experienced Chicago trucking accident attorneys work closely with accident investigators to assess the cause of the trucking accident so that we can determine all potential sources of liability.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a trucking accident, contact the skilled Chicago trucking accident attorneys at Cogan & Power at (312) 477-2500 for a free consultation to discuss your legal rights following a commercial trucking accident. If you cannot come to our offices in downtown Chicago, we will come to you. And because we take cases on a contingency basis, you will not pay any fee unless we get you compensation.