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How is liability determined in a trucking accident?

There are a number of ways that trucking companies and their drivers can be held responsible or liable for an accident.

Trucking accidents are not straight forward. In a trucking accident the vehicle’s owner may not be employed by the trucking company or may not even be working for the person hauling the load. Additionally, the trailer owner may be a completely separate company.

With each of these different scenarios, there are rules, regulations and responsibilities according to the Department of Transportation and they govern the operation of tractor trailers on the road. There are federal and state rules and regulations and the complete picture of a trucking accident can be very complicated.

When dealing with trucking accidents, there are also a number of theories that can be applied to a case, depending on the circumstances. For example,the negligent hiring theory which refers to a trucking company’s hiring practices. It is often the case where background checks or any medical checks are not done adequately.

There is also negligent entrustment and negligent retention. Negligent entrustment simply means that if the trucking company knows a driver has a history of issues, accident, problems and citations, and they allow the individual to drive for them, they are responsible for any accidents. Negligent retention is similar and means keeping a driver after they have had dischargeable or fireable offenses and still letting them operate a company tractor trailer.

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