‘Vicarious’ responsibility: Third-party truck accident claims

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Blame for Raleigh auto accidents sometimes includes at-fault parties other than drivers. For instance, North Carolina alcohol establishments can be liable for serving underage customers who cause injury crashes. In some other states, dram shop laws apply to serving minors and over-serving customers of any age.

Third parties aren't at crash scenes but, nevertheless, civil laws hold them accountable for contributions to losses suffered by accident victims and their families. The list of defendants in truck accidents can be extensive. Consider all the elements that might be involved in collisions caused by commercial trucks.

Commercial drivers and companies associated with them must abide by state and federal carrier regulations -- negligent actions by a driver may reflect upon an employer. Employers are responsible for checking drivers' competency, licensing and records at hiring and continuing to promote safe driving practices during employment. Some profit-driven employers are guilty of skirting laws by pressuring drivers to work under unsafe conditions, like violating limits of hours of service rules.

Truck shipping companies must abide by established cargo weight limits and weight distribution rules. Special safety regulations apply to shipments of hazardous materials. Truck and truck part manufacturers, maintenance and servicing companies are answerable for the safe performance of a vehicle.

Legal representation of claims for a single 18-wheeler accident may cover several areas of civil law, like product liability for a defective mechanical system. The violation of criminal laws can support a plaintiff's case. For example, a DWI charge or conviction for a drunk truck driver is evidence of negligence.

Injured parties have a right to file for compensation for direct financial damage, like medical bills and earnings losses due to a victim's inability to work. Jury awards are also permitted for physical and emotional pain and suffering. In wrongful death cases, the losses of a victim's surviving spouse, children or parents are considered and compensated.

Source: FindLaw, " Truck Accident Law: What You Need to Know" Sep. 19, 2014