Many trucking companies utilize more than one driver in their commercial trucking business to allow one trucker to drive while the other one rests. A trucking company may do this for a number of reasons, such as ensuring that the load is delivered quickly or to comply with the federal hours of service regulations regarding how long a trucker can drive without taking a break. Did the trucker who caused your truck accident have a co-driver? If so, this co-driver could be partially responsible for compensating you for your injuries—even if he was not behind the wheel.
When Can a Co-Driver Be Considered Negligent in Causing a Truck Crash?
The trucker driving the truck at the time of a truck wreck is usually found primarily liable for causing an accident. However, there are circumstances when this second driver could be found at least partially to blame for causing an accident including the following:
- Observing dangerous behaviors. In some cases, the co-driver may observe the trucker engaging in dangerous driving behaviors, such as speeding, driving while drowsy or intoxicated, or texting. If he does nothing to intervene and the trucker causes a wreck, the co-driver may be found partially at-fault.
- Engaging in distracting behaviors. A co-driver could be the cause of a crash if he is engaged in horseplay, arguing with the trucker, playing loud music, or trying to get the trucker to look at a video or other information on a cell phone or tablet while the trucker is driving.
- Driving in violation of hours of service regulations. The co-driver, as well as the trucker, is required to comply with federal hours of service regulations regarding the number of hours that he can drive without taking a break. Violations of these rules can lead to him causing a drowsy driving wreck.
- Failing to complete log book. Both the trucker and co-driver may be liable if the log book where the hours of driving and rest breaks are recorded has missing information, has been altered, or shows violations of the hours of service rules.
Was there a co-driver in the big-rig truck that struck your vehicle? Our experienced truck accident attorneys can help you determine if he faces liability as well as the trucker and trucking company. To discuss the specifics of your truck accident and your legal options, call our office today to schedule your free consultation.