Who Is Liable in a Truck Accident?

In the case of truck accidents in Des Moines, IA, it is essential to determine who is liable. Where compensation and insurance payouts are required for personal injuries sustained and vehicle damage, this information is critical. Determining liability is not always simple and straightforward, but the law provides a framework for this and a Des Moines semi-truck accident lawyer can help. 

Iowa Liability Laws

The laws surrounding liability in truck accidents vary from state to state. Some states are known as no-fault 

states, which means that in the case of a vehicle accident, each driver’s insurance covers them regardless of who was at fault. There are 12 no-fault states, including Michigan, New Jersey, and New York.

Iowa is an at-fault or tort state, which means that the driver responsible for the accident is responsible for covering the other driver’s expenses through their insurance. Truck accidents in Des Moines, IA can occur in many different ways, so it is still necessary to find out which driver is liable. 

Iowa Liability Laws

Determining Truck Accident Liability

With thousands of large trucks on the roads, there are more and more truck accidents in Des Moines, IA. One of the causes of any type of accident is driver negligence. If the truck driver is distracted or fails to observe road rules, this could result in an accident. Because of the truck’s size and weight, very often the smaller vehicle experiences more damage.

Another common cause of truck accidents, especially in Iowa, is wet conditions, which make the roads slippery and unsafe. It is important to note that although inclement weather may increase the chances of a truck accident occurring, it still matters what the driver was doing and how they were attempting to navigate the icy or wet terrain.

When the roads become very dangerous, the truck driver and all other motorists on the road must exercise extreme caution. It might be necessary to park their vehicles for a time when the roads become too unsafe to use. If a driver fails to do this, they may be putting themselves at great risk.

Truck drivers can be held liable for an accident when they were outside of their duties. Every trucking company operates under a set schedule. A truck driver has an assigned route that they must travel to make certain deliveries on a particular timetable. If the driver gets out of their route and schedule, they could end up trying to make up for lost time and making other poor decisions. Examples of this include a truck driver who diverts from their course to visit family along the way or another who stops by a bar for a few hours. 

If an accident occurs after either of these diversions, the driver can be held liable because they were not in the place they were meant to be at the right time. It is also possible that the driver can end up trying to navigate the roads while intoxicated or sleepy. They might even over-speeding to make up the time they were away from their core responsibilities. 

When a truck accident occurs while the driver is executing their duties, the truck company that hired them is held liable instead of the driver as an individual. 

Determining liability after a truck accident requires a compilation of all the different facts surrounding the incident. How the accident occurred, how the drivers behaved, if there was any negligence, and who the vehicles belong to are all important. 

Moving On From Truck Accident

The Way Forward After a Truck Accident

After a truck accident occurs, there is a lot that needs to be done to chart a way forward. If anyone was injured in any way, they need medical attention. If the truck or any other vehicles were damaged, they need to be repaired, if possible. 

Every vehicle on Iowa roads is required to have insurance. When an accident occurs, it is important to work with these insurance companies to get a payout to cover medical and vehicle repair expenses. Depending on the nature and extent of the accident, the insurance payout may need to cover other costs as well. 

Insurance companies work with facts and evidence, so there is no understating the importance of an accurate determination of who was liable in the truck accident, be it the truck driver or the driver of the other vehicle.