How are trucking companies held liable for truck accidents?

A: In Alberta, trucking companies can be held liable for truck accidents under various circumstances. Several factors come into play when determining liability in a truck accident case, including the actions of the truck driver, the trucking company's practices and policies, and the condition of the vehicle. The legal principle of "vicarious liability" is often applied in these cases, which means that the trucking company can be held responsible for the negligent actions of their employees, in this case, the truck driver, during the course of their employment.

There are several ways in which a trucking company may be held liable for an accident:

  1. Negligent hiring or training: If a trucking company fails to adequately screen, hire, or train its drivers, it can be held liable for any accidents caused by their negligence. This includes ensuring that drivers have proper licenses, conducting background checks, and providing appropriate training to ensure safe operation of the vehicle.

  2. Hours of service violations: Federal and provincial regulations govern the number of hours a truck driver can be on the road without taking a break. If a trucking company encourages or allows its drivers to violate these regulations, leading to driver fatigue and an accident, the company can be held responsible for the consequences.

  3. Inadequate vehicle maintenance: Trucking companies are responsible for maintaining their fleet of vehicles and ensuring that they are in a safe operating condition. If a truck accident occurs due to a mechanical failure or other maintenance-related issues that the company should have addressed, the company may be held liable for the accident.

  4. Overloading or improper loading: Trucking companies must ensure that their vehicles are loaded according to regulations, including weight limits and proper load distribution. If a truck is overloaded or loaded improperly, causing an accident, the company may be held accountable.

  5. Violation of safety regulations: Trucking companies are required to follow federal and provincial safety regulations, which may include specific requirements for equipment, inspections, and record-keeping. If a company is found to have violated safety regulations, contributing to the accident, they can be held liable.

When pursuing a claim against a trucking company, it is essential to work with an experienced personal injury law firm like Kantor LLP Personal Injury Lawyers. Their team will be well-versed in the relevant laws and regulations governing truck accidents in Alberta and can help you gather the necessary evidence to prove the trucking company's liability. This may include obtaining driver logs, maintenance records, inspection reports, and other pertinent documents, as well as interviewing witnesses and working with accident reconstruction experts.

Holding a trucking company liable for a truck accident can significantly impact the compensation and damages you may receive. In many cases, the company's insurance coverage may be more substantial than the individual driver's policy, allowing for greater compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages resulting from the accident.

If you've been in an MVA, contact Kantor LLP, MVA Injury Lawyers, for a free consultation.