What if I Am Partly to Blame for a Trucking Accident?

Written By: Darl Champion

Date Posted: 05.11.24

Category: Motor Vehicle Accidents

It’s natural to have questions about liability after being involved in any motor vehicle accident, especially one involving a big rig. If you think you are partly to blame for the accident, you may wonder what consequences you can face and how it can impact your ability to seek compensation.

It’s essential to understand the concept of liability in truck accidents, how it is determined, and who can be held responsible. If you suffered an injury in an accident, you must identify how to secure compensation from the responsible parties and challenge wrongful accusations of blame. Consult a qualified truck accident attorney in Atlanta who can guide you and fight for your rights.

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What is Liability?

Liability refers to legal responsibility for an accident or its consequences. When it comes to truck accidents, liability can be complicated due to various factors involved, such as multiple parties, potentially conflicting regulations, and differing state laws. Understanding the contributing factors and assessing each party’s responsibility to determine liability is crucial. This is where a knowledgeable truck accident attorney comes in. They understand the complex factors that impact liability in such an accident and thoroughly investigate which parties should be held liable.

How Do You Know If You Are Liable in Your Truck Accident?

Liable in Your Truck AccidentIf you were in a truck accident and believe you may be partially at fault, consulting with a truck accident attorney should be your first step. Never assume that you are at fault or partially at fault. Instead, contact an attorney as soon as possible. Though it might seem that way, there may be a lot about the circumstances of the accident that you don’t know about or understand, which will impact liability.

When you hire a reputable truck accident attorney, they will evaluate the details of your case and conduct a thorough investigation to determine liability accurately. Contributing factors, such as driver error, vehicle maintenance issues, faulty equipment, or inadequate training, should always be carefully examined to determine the factors that contributed to the accident.

Determining Liability in Truck Accident is Challenging

Determining liability in truck accidents can be challenging for parties due to the number of parties involved. Potentially liable parties may include:

Truck Driver

The truck driver who operates the vehicle plays a significant role in determining liability. Factors such as distracted driving, speeding, fatigue, or impaired driving can contribute to an accident and make the driver partly or fully liable.

Trucking Company

The trucking company may be held liable if they failed to vet the driver correctly, neglected maintenance and inspection protocols, or encouraged unsafe driving practices such as unrealistic delivery schedules or overloading the truck.

Vehicle Manufacturer

If a defect in the truck or its components caused or contributed to the accident, the manufacturer can be held liable for the resulting injuries or damages.

Government Entities

In some cases, government entities responsible for maintaining roadways may be held liable for accidents caused by dangerous road conditions, inadequate signage, or improper maintenance.

Third Parties

Other vehicles, pedestrians, or entities that contributed to the accident through negligent actions may also share liability.

Types of Truck Accidents

Truck accidents can occur in various ways, and each type presents unique challenges when determining liability. Some common types of truck accidents include:

Rear-End Collisions

Rear-end collisions can cause severe injuries and damage when a truck fails to stop in time and collides with the vehicle in front of it. Determining liability in these cases often involves assessing factors such as braking distance, speed, and driver attentiveness.

Jackknife Accidents

Jackknife accidents occur when a truck’s trailer swings out to the side, forming a “V” shape with the cab. These accidents can be caused by sudden braking, equipment failure, or adverse weather conditions. Determining liability may involve evaluating maintenance records, driver actions, and potential third-party influences.

Underride Accidents

Underride accidents happen when a smaller vehicle collides with the rear or side of a truck and becomes partially or fully trapped beneath it. These accidents often result in catastrophic injuries or fatalities. Depending on the circumstances, liability may be attributed to the truck driver, trucking company, or vehicle manufacturer.

T-Bone Accidents

T-Bone accidents occur when a truck collides with the side of another vehicle, forming a “T” shape. These accidents frequently happen at intersections and can be caused by driver negligence, failure to yield, or running red lights. Determining liability may involve reviewing surveillance footage, witness statements, and traffic reports.

Rollover Accidents

Rollover accidents happen when a truck tips onto its side or roof, often causing significant damage and injuries. These accidents can be caused by speeding, excessive cargo weight, improper loading, or driver error. Determining liability may involve analyzing driver behavior, maintenance records, and cargo handling procedures.

Why Truck Accidents Are So Dangerous

Truck- Car AccidentTruck accidents are some of the most devastating and catastrophic events on the road. Commercial trucks’ sheer size and weight make them much more dangerous than regular passenger vehicles. Understanding why truck accidents are so dangerous can help you grasp the severity of these incidents and the importance of seeking legal representation.

Big Rig Size

One of the primary reasons why truck accidents are so dangerous is the massive size disparity between trucks and passenger vehicles. A fully loaded truck can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, whereas the average car weighs around 4,000 pounds. This significant weight difference means the smaller vehicle is at a substantial disadvantage in a collision and is likely to sustain severe damage and injuries.

Higher Center of Gravity

Trucks have a higher center of gravity, making them more prone to rollover accidents. Any sudden change in direction or maneuver can cause a loaded truck to lose balance and tip over. When a truck rolls over, it creates a hazard for surrounding vehicles, causing multiple collisions and potential fatalities. These accidents can be particularly devastating on highways with high-speed limits.

Increased Stopping Distance

Additionally, the stopping distance of trucks is much longer than that of passenger vehicles. The weight and momentum of a truck make it more difficult to stop quickly in emergency situations. This increased stopping distance can have deadly consequences when a truck is unable to avoid a collision with another vehicle. The force generated by a truck traveling at high speeds can cause catastrophic injuries, including spinal cord injuries (SCI), traumatic brain injuries (TBI), and even death.

The Trucking Industry

Apart from these physical factors, the nature of the trucking industry itself contributes to the dangers associated with truck accidents. Delivery deadlines and long working hours often pressure truck drivers to meet unrealistic schedules. Fatigue and drowsy driving are significant factors in many truck accidents. When a driver is exhausted, their reaction time slows down, and their ability to make quick decisions becomes impaired, significantly increasing the chances of an accident.

Truck accidents are incredibly dangerous due to the tremendous size difference between trucks and passenger vehicles, the potential for rollover accidents, the longer stopping distances, and the pressures within the trucking industry. If you are involved in a trucking accident, seek legal representation from an experienced truck accident attorney. An attorney handling in trucking accidents can be your strongest advocate in holding all responsible parties accountable and providing the support you need during this challenging time.

Common Truck Accident Injuries

If you’ve been involved in a truck accident, you may be dealing with serious injuries that can impact your life in many ways. While every accident is unique, some common injuries tend to occur in truck accidents. Understanding these common injuries can help you know what to expect and how to proceed with your case.


One of the most common injuries in truck accidents is whiplash. Whiplash occurs when the head is forcibly jerked back and forth, causing strain to the muscles and ligaments in the neck. It can result in pain, stiffness, and a limited range of motion. Whiplash can cause headaches, dizziness, and cognitive issues in more severe cases.

Broken Bones

Another common injury in truck accidents is broken bones. Due to trucks’ sheer size and weight, the force of impact in a collision can be devastating. It can lead to fractures and broken bones in various body parts, such as the arms, legs, ribs, or pelvis. Broken bones can be extremely painful and may require surgery or long-term rehabilitation.


Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are also common in truck accidents. TBIs occur when the brain suffers an injury from sudden impact, such as hitting the steering wheel or dashboard during a collision. These injuries can range from mild concussions to severe traumatic brain injuries that require extensive medical treatment. Symptoms of TBIs can include headaches, dizziness, confusion, memory loss, and difficulty concentrating.


Spinal cord injuries are another severe consequence of truck accidents. The spinal cord is responsible for transmitting messages between the brain and the rest of the body, and any damage can lead to partial or complete paralysis. Injuries to the spinal cord can be life-altering and may require ongoing medical care, rehabilitation, and adaptive devices.

Internal Organ Damage

Even though bones such as the pelvis and ribs can help protect vital internal organs, they are highly vulnerable in truck accidents. Internal organ damage can be severe and cause extreme, life-threatening bleeding. What’s even worse is that sometimes internal bleeding and organ damage may not reveal symptoms right away.

Burns and Lacerations

Burns are common, as chemical or gasoline spills in truck accidents can cause fires. Burns are extremely painful and may cause life-long scarring. They are often prone to infections and other complications. Lacerations and other skin abrasions are also common, especially if the skin isn’t covered by clothing at the time of the accident.

Truck accidents can cause a range of other physical and emotional damages in addition to these common injuries. You can receive the guidance and support you need by consulting a skilled attorney with experience in truck accidents.

Securing Compensation From Responsible Parties After a Truck Accident

Compensation From Responsible Parties

After a truck accident, you must pursue compensation for your injuries, medical expenses, lost income, and other damages. Securing compensation can be challenging, involving negotiations with insurance companies and potentially filing a personal injury lawsuit. Working with an experienced truck accident attorney is crucial to increasing your chances of receiving fair compensation.

Your lawyer will first list people or companies that might be responsible. Then, they’ll do a few things:

  • Investigate and refine the list: The lawyer will dig deeper to narrow the list to those who are most likely responsible and can afford to pay for damages. They might talk to these parties or their lawyers to get more information.
  • Make a claim: The lawyer will formally start a legal process or informally ask the responsible parties to pay. It can be done by sending a letter or filing a case in court. This step tells the responsible parties that they’re being held accountable for your damages.
  • Negotiate: Most of the time, these cases are settled through talks between the victim’s lawyer and the other party’s representatives. The attorney will work hard to ensure the responsible party takes the claim seriously. If there are multiple victims, negotiations can get difficult, especially if the responsible party might declare bankruptcy.
  • Go to court if needed: If negotiations don’t work out, the lawyer might take the case to court. Even though they prefer to settle, they’re ready to go to trial for a fair outcome. Sometimes, it’s best to settle with some parties and go to trial with others for the best overall result.

Your attorney will gather evidence, consult experts, and build a solid case to demonstrate the responsible parties’ liability. They will negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf and, if necessary, litigate your case in court. With their knowledge and experience, they will fight for your rights and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.

Contact a Well-Versed Truck Accident Attorney Today

If you have been involved in a truck accident and believe you may be partly to blame, don’t manage your case alone; don’t assume you are at fault. Instead, schedule a consultation with a skilled truck accident attorney. They will navigate the legal process, protect your rights, and work tirelessly to secure the compensation you deserve. Don’t wait – take the first step towards justice today.

About the Author

Darl Champion is an award-winning personal injury lawyer serving the greater Metro Atlanta area. He is passionate about ensuring his clients are fully compensated when they are harmed by someone’s negligence. Learn more about Darl here.