Who is Liable After an 18-Wheeler Truck Accident?

Accidents that involve large vehicles like semi-trucks are usually complicated and it may not be obvious who is at fault. This is because, even though people may assume the driver is responsible for the crash, multiple people and companies are involved before the driver gets behind the wheel. Therefore, there are many opportunities for making errors and it could be one of those errors that caused the vehicle crash. A truck accident lawyer in New York can help you determine the cause of the collision and the liable parties. The legal expert can do this by conducting a thorough investigation and reviewing the available evidence. 

The driver

A trailer driver may cause a collision because of negligent behavior like distracted driving, speeding, and driving while fatigued. A driver must also inspect the vehicle to ensure it has been properly maintained and that the cargo has been properly loaded into the vehicle and tied into place tightly. If a collision occurs due to a maintenance issue or cargo shift, the driver may be partly at fault for the crash. It’s their responsibility to make sure that everything on their vehicle works properly. Failure to do so can lead to severe damage.

The Carrier

A truck company is responsible for the vehicles and the drivers who operate their vehicles. Unfortunately, some companies make poor decisions that promote risky driving to prioritize their profits over the safety of their drivers. If a company violates the laws that protect drivers on the road, it may be liable for any collisions that may occur. In addition, if the company hires unqualified motorists, inadequately trains the drivers, and fails to properly maintain their vehicles, they may be held liable when a crash occurs. These company owners need to make sure their employees are well-trained and know how to drive their vehicles. 

The cargo shipper and loader

If the cargo has not been loaded or secured properly, it can shift during transit and affect the balance of the vehicle. In addition, cargo that has been improperly loaded can cause the tire to blow or loss of vehicle control. If an attorney investigates the incident and finds out that the shipping or loading company used improper loading techniques, failed to inspect the load, or overloaded the vehicle, they will be held accountable for negligence. These details are crucial when shipping and loading precious items. If these companies are not doing the proper background checks, it can be trouble for drivers on the road.

Truck owner

In some cases, the truck company or the driver does not own the vehicle. The vehicle may be owned by a separate party, who may be held liable if they act in a negligent manner that causes a collision. The owner is legally required to conduct regular inspections, maintain fluid levels, and safeguard engine function among other duties. They need to understand what is going on with their vehicle to ensure that it’s safe for the driver. If the driver fails to do so or they start getting lazy, it has the potential to cause an accident.

Passenger vehicle drivers

In some cases, a small passenger vehicle may be responsible for causing a crash involving a truck. For example, if a car driver makes an illegal turn and rams into a truck, they become directly involved in the collision as the party at fault. These drivers must make sure they are aware of their surroundings. It’s harder for semi-trucks to see vehicles smaller than them, especially when they are in their blind spot. Passenger vehicle drivers must always respect the truck and the truck driver.


If you got injured in a collision involving a truck or another large vehicle, you can take legal action against the liable party. The liable party in a crash involves many factors that your attorney can sort out. It all depends on who was driving, how they were driving, and if the vehicle was safe enough to be on the road. Once those are all checked out, the court will be able to decide who the liable party was. It’s your job to make sure that you are covered and to keep track of all the necessary details.

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