Q. Can Brokers Be Held Liable For A Truck Accident?
A. Yes. A truck broker or freight broker can be held responsible if the truck driver is involved in a negligent car accident. However, there are many variables, and multiple people can be held accountable.
When speaking of trucks, there are other commercial trucks on the roadways beside eighteen-wheelers such as, but not limited to,
- Bucket trucks
- Garbage trucks
- Mail trucks
- Delivery trucks
- Utility trucks
- Farming trucks
As surprising as it may seem, there is a higher incidence of truck accidents on rural roads versus highways. Researchers consider when accidents are most likely to happen from 6 am to 6 pm, Monday through Friday.
There is less traffic on the rural roads on Saturday and Sunday than during any given workweek. Statistics show where and when the majority of truck accidents happen. However, truck accidents still happen anywhere, anytime, and during any weather element.
Definition of a Truck Broker
A truck broker stands between the person shipping goods to a specific location and the transport or trucking company that carries the goods to a particular site. The truck broker connects you with the transport company to get the shipper’s goods where they need to be and offers the perfect connection to a transportation company.
Freight brokers must have the proper credentials, education, and training to perform their duties as expected. The broker sets up an agreement between the shipper and the transport company to move the goods.
The broker must be aware of the trucking company’s safety record or the owner or driver of the company. If the broker hires a trucking company with a history of truck accidents, the broker can be held responsible.
For this reason of liability, if the driver causes a negligent accident and has a poor driving record with too many accidents, the broker is on the list of persons held liable.
The brokers’ responsibility is to ensure that the trucking company or the truck driver they hire has a safe driving record. The only way that the broker can avoid these possible legal issues is to do a thorough search of the safety record of that trucking company.
No accident happens, but where there is negligence involved. Negligent actions can occur when someone is injured due to reckless behavior on their part or the part of another person, multiple persons, product, or company. If not for reckless and careless actions, accidents would not have happened.
When a broker hires a trucking company or truck driver without thoroughly searching their safety records, this broker can be held liable because of negligent hiring. When physical harm befalls a truck/car accident victim, brokers can be held responsible for hiring those without a good safety record.
Negligent accidents often uncover layers of fault when a victim is injured due to negligence. Those responsible can be the broker, the trucking company, the truck driver, the shipper, the trucking company’s owner, and other individuals that had some hand they played that may have caused this accident.
Brokers are not the trucking company’s owners, so you may wonder how they can be held liable in a negligent accident. The broker must remain vigilant over the situation because the broker has an element of transport control.
The negligence on the part of the broker could mean that they did not use their complete expertise when they decided to hire a less than favorable and safe driver or company. Negligence happens when truck brokers fail to research company and driver safety records.
Duties of a Truck Broker
- The broker takes the orders for goods to be picked up by a specific company.
- This broker schedules the freight for pickup and delivery.
- The broker transmits instructions to the driver of the transport company.
- The broker is responsible for loading the truck, transporting the goods, delivering the goods, and billing for services rendered.
Definition of a Transport Company
The transport company or trucking company has the vehicles needed and can move the shipper’s goods to where they need to go.
Can the Shipper be Held Liable if There is a Negligent Truck Accident?
The answer is yes and no. Shippers and brokers can be held liable if the truck driver works for the company the broker hired causes a negligent accident on the roadways.
The Negligent Truck Driver Affects Everyone
You may think that the last driver to cause a negligent accident is a truck driver. Even though truck drivers must have several hours of training and obtain specific certifications, truckers are susceptible to causing a negligent accident with another smaller vehicle.
Truckers must embrace an accident-free, ticket-free driving record both with their trucking company and their everyday driving record. Truck drivers must have a high skill-set, be alert at all times, and possess clarity and excellent split-second decision-making abilities.
When truck drivers fail to meet these criteria or forget to follow a set of safety standards while driving, the driver is likely to cause a negligent accident. Not only is the truck driver negligent and at fault for causing an accident, but the owner of the company also becomes liable.
Truck accidents are more severe than car accidents due to the number of pounds the driver must control. A 70,000-pound truck, including its cargo, can mean a fatality on the road if that trucker hits another smaller vehicle on the road. That smaller vehicle has little chance of survival.
Truck Drivers have Responsibilities Towards Other Drivers
Truckers must wear their seat belts when driving. They must adhere to all the safety standards and policies of the company they work for.
Obeying the scheduling of delivery dates and time is essential but must be done in a safe manner, and not risk their lives and the lives of other drivers. However, it is more important to recognize when to pull over and rest when the driver notices fatigue. Fatigue increases the risk of an accident.
Truckers must obey the weight limits set for them and be aware that the weight behind them affects how their truck responds to sudden stops or slower speeds.
It is dangerous for a trucker to eat and drink while driving. A trucker should never drink alcohol or smoke while driving. If the trucker drinks alcohol, they should not drive for at least four hours after their last drink.
The driver and trucking company’s responsibility is to adhere to safety standards and do routine maintenance checks on their fleets. All trucks must have excellent working brakes, safety and warning devices must work, mirrors and lighting must be working, tires must be in good shape, the driver must make sure fluid levels are in range.
Primary Reasons Why Truck Accidents are Deadly
Statistics say that ten out of a hundred truck car accidents happen every year. When an automobile is hit by a large truck, that car and driver have only a slim chance of survival due to the truck’s weight. Truckers are under a lot of duress and pressure to get the job done on time.
- Multi-task while driving
- Eat while driving
- Talk on the phone
- Watch movies or videos while driving because they get bored
- Drives too many hours in a shift without the downtime to rest and relax fatigue
- Failed safety checks
- Fail to get maintenance done, such as brake checks, and new tires
- Fail to get proper training
- Fail to assure a safe stop in any weather
- Do not take precautions when rain or icy roads develop.
Commercial vehicles are held accountable for causing fewer negligent accidents, injuries, and deaths across America’s roadways. However, truckers are under more pressure than the average everyday car driver. When an accident involves a truck, the reason is usually due to the truck driver’s error in judgment. One of the top reasons for negligent trucking accidents is the failure of the driver to control the speed of their truck.
Trucking companies have their drivers on strict schedules, and drivers must meet delivery times, or their job could be in jeopardy if the driver misses too many deadlines. Drivers causing accidents due to speeding do not let the company or the broker off the hook.
In rare instances, the company or broker may not be held responsible if the driver was operating their truck in such a way that the company or broker was aware. However, it does not take too much to see that when the driver’s actions were negligent and caused an accident, multiple people may have to share the responsibility for the crash.
It is difficult to admit, but it is not unheard of for a truck driver to drive drunk. Much weight behind a truck when the driver is drunk increases the risk for a severe accident, and injuries to those who share the road is unthinkable. This is not to say that a truck driver cannot have beer or alcohol. They cannot consume any alcohol within four hours of having to drive.
An example of multiple persons at fault is if the driver was at a party or a bar and the driver drank alcohol and left to drive and is in an accident, the person who provided alcohol to that trucker could be held liable. Our attorney must prove that the driver was drunk and not in control.
Can a Broker Be Held Liable for an Accident if the Truck was a Mechanical Failure?
When there is a mechanical failure in a truck or the trucking company does not do routine maintenance on their trucks, and an accident occurs, everything depends on the circumstances. Maintenance failure can be seen in badly worn tires, failed safety systems, and malfunctioning brakes. These are all some causes of a mechanical failure causing an accident.
Trucking companies must keep their fleets in excellent working order, and maintenance must be done regularly. When trucks cause an accident due to mechanical failure, the trucking company owner can be liable for a negligent accident because that owner did not service the truck when needed. The broker can be held accountable because they hired a negligent company.
Our Attorneys Can Prove Trucker Liability if the Evidence Supports the Case of Negligence
Our attorneys will tell you that proving liability for the trucker is not an easy task. However, we never accept cases we cannot win. As soon as you hire us to represent you, we will work hard on your behalf and support your victim’s rights. We take the following steps to ensure you have a winning case against the negligent driver and others associated with direct involvement in your accident.
- Gather evidence from crash site pictures, police reports, witness statements, all medical reports, and documentation
- We study the speed of vehicles.
- We analyze the breaking data.
- We determined what caused the accident to happen.
- We groom you for possible questioning by the defendant’s attorneys, company, insurance agents, and third-party investigators. We remain at your side at all times, and you never give anyone any information or statement unless we are with you.
- We urge you not to accept any abrupt settlement without speaking with us. These settlements are never enough to take care of all the damage done to the victim and their family.
- We calculate an extensive list of possible damages, including property damage, loss of wages, pain, suffering, mental, emotional, physical suffering, permanent disability, length of time for recovery, and much more.
Vital Steps to Take after a Negligent Truck Accident
- Call 9-1-1 for help and seek medical assistance. Never refuse to be checked by a medical doctor. Sometimes it takes a few days, weeks, and even a few months for injuries from an accident to develop.
- Give your report to law enforcement. However, never admit fault in an accident. Never say, “I’m so sorry.” Never say, “Maybe I could have tried to avoid this accident.” You can easily say words like these and make statements in shock, haste, and confusion. However, these words and comments can make the police and insurance companies believe that you possibly caused the accident and not the other person. Reports are legal documents used in a court of law. These unintentional and innocent words can hurt your compensation case if your case goes to court.
- Keep a journal of what happened while your mind is fresh.
- Get driver’s license numbers and insurance information of all persons involved in the accident.
- Take pictures of the accident scene. If you are too injured, have someone else do this for you as soon as possible.
- Give no information or statements to other drivers involved in the accident, witnesses, or others.
- Keep copies of anything and everything associated with your accident. Be sure to get these copies to your attorney.
- Inform your insurance agent about the accident. Be cautious of this because no insurance agent is your friend at this point. The goal of all insurance companies is not to pay out any more money than is absolutely necessary. For years, that agent you have had is not to be trusted and is certainly not your friend. They work for a company that does not relish paying anyone money.
- Call our attorneys as soon as you can and are medically stable. You can assign an advocate to make the call for you. If you can call us from the accident site, we may be able to take pictures and speak with witnesses.
If you cannot see us, we can come to you. Feel free to let us know how we can help. This call is vital to receiving a possible and sizeable settlement depending on your injuries and accident. You never know how sound a case you have until you speak with your attorneys. We will let you know if you have a winning case. If your loved one dies in a truck car accident and you are seeking compensation, we can help you.
You Cannot Fight a Negligent Truck Accident Case Without Legal Representation.
In closing, our attorney determined that any person who has a legal attachment to a truck driver or company can be sued due to a negligent truck accident. Those responsible for a truck accident can be,
- The broker
- The shipper
- The transporter
- The driver
- A manufacturer
- A city or county where the accident happened
- In addition to any other people who come in touch with the driver or trucking company
- And yes, even the barkeeper who served the driver alcohol before getting behind the wheel
If you were injured or a loved one was killed in an accident involving a commercial truck, please give our attorneys a call as soon as possible. We need to hear the details of your accident to determine if you have a compensation case. Your broker may be liable. You never know until we investigate the accident.
These truck accident cases are complex and complicated, and as the victim, you never want to represent yourself in a court of law. Know that the defendant, the trucking company, and their insurance agents have their team of attorneys working against you to prove you were not the victim but the negligent driver.
Filing a compensation case against a negligent truck driver does not always mean your case must go to court. Our attorneys always try to settle out of court for the best and fairest settlement possible that covers your list of damages. We calculate past, present, and future expenses depending on your injuries and the circumstances surrounding this negligent trucking accident.
We urge you to use wise words when giving your statement to any police officer or insurance agent, because the most straightforward and most innocent words can make you sound as though this accident was your fault. Call us as soon as possible because when insurance adjusters start to call, you can refer them to your team of seasoned negligent attorneys. We will answer all of their questions.
We will tell you if you have a winning case. Otherwise, your first call to us is a free no-obligation consultation. We collect no fee from you unless you win your case. We know how to calculate your damages versus your compensation to cover these damages in such cases and are always willing to settle out of court if the settlement offered is fair and just. We are prepared to go to court if a fair settlement is not reached.
Truck drivers must adhere to a set standard of care towards other drivers on the road. If a trucker does not comply with this safety standard and causes a negligent accident involving other cars, that trucker caused a breach of duty towards the person they injured.
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