According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, there were 4,455 fatal crashes across the country involving large trucks or buses in 2017.

That number has steadily grown after declining in the early 2010’s. While there are a number of factors potentially responsible, trucking and large bus accidents are still a very real occurrence on the roads and it’s important to understand some of the basic legalities involved.

Laws Around Truck Accidents and Who Could Be Responsible

For the most part, federal laws govern trucking. Every state also has a department of transportation that sets specific guidelines pertinent to the state’s roads, conditions and driving needs.

Responsibility could include any or all of the following:

  • The truck or bus driver
  • The truck or bus owner (which could be different from the driver)
  • Any leasing groups or individuals involved
  • The truck or bus manufacturer along with any parts or service providers in the case of a faulty situation
  • Shipping or loading services in cases involving mismanaged cargo

With so many parties involved, there can be quite the contest over whose insurance is actually responsible for compensation.

The Role of the Trucking Company

“Under federal law, any company owning a trucking permit is responsible for all accidents involving a truck that has its placard or name displayed on the vehicle,” according to this Nolo article. It doesn’t matter if there’s a lease involved or if the driver is an employee as opposed to a contractor.

Since Arizona is an “at-fault” state, proof must be presented proving negligence on behalf of the driver or trucker. The court may assess fault to more than one party depending on what actually happened at the time of the incident.


With so many factors involved in the aftermath of a trucking or large bus accident, it’s important to consult a qualified trucking accident attorney to understand your rights and the process towards receiving any rightly due compensation for your injuries. Call Rabb & Rabb, PLLC at (520) 888-6740 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your specific case.

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