Truck accidents may be caused by a third party
In a truck accident in Missouri or Kansas, trucking companies, vehicle manufacturers and others may be liable, as well as the driver.
In any motor vehicle accident in Kansas City, the victim may be entitled to compensation from the driver who is liable. When the vehicle that caused the collision is a large truck, though, the operator may only be one of multiple parties who are responsible for the factors leading to the accident.
The FMCSA is the government agency responsible for creating the guidelines that regulate the trucking industry. These regulations specify the process that the trucking company must go through to ensure that the driver is qualified to be behind the wheel, including a background check and a drug test. If these are not followed, or if the company knowingly employs a driver with previous issues, the company could be held liable in an accident. The company is also responsible for conducting routine and random drug tests for each driver every year.
Although the driver is responsible for daily inspections and some maintenance, according to Chron.com, truck mechanics are responsible for vehicle inspections, test drives and diagnostics, as well as the repairs and maintenance the vehicles require. All repairs must be done according to the manufacturer's specifications, as well. If there is an issue with the vehicle's engine, brakes, electrical system or other components, and it leads to an accident, a negligent truck servicer may be at fault.
As with operators, trucking companies have a duty to make sure any servicers they hire have a commercial driver's license in addition to the specialized training and certification that is required.
Truck rental companies
Some carriers lease their commercial vehicles. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration provides specific regulations regarding the lease, which must outline the responsibilities of both the lessor and the lessee. For example, there are circumstances where the owner of the truck may be responsible for the size and weight of the loads transported, although the identification on the door of the vehicle indicates the party who is responsible for the vehicle's safe operation.
Product liability involves a design flaw or defect, and according to Cornell University Law School's Legal Information Institute, anyone from the manufacturer to the dealership that sold the vehicle may be held responsible. When a truck has faulty components within the braking system, electrical hook-up cables or tires, for example, the result may easily be a life-threatening crash.
When a person is injured or killed in a truck accident, the responsible party should be held accountable. A personal injury attorney in Kansas City may be able to help bring those at fault to justice and prevent them from continuing to create hazardous situations on the nation's roadways.