Truck accidents often result in catastrophic or even fatal injuries, due to the weight and size of trucks. Sometimes there are several victims in a truck accident. All of them may be making claims against the truck driver’s insurance policy, and these claims may exceed the insurance policy. It is important to work with an attorney who understands the complexities of truck accident cases and knows how to determine which parties should be held responsible for losses. If you were injured in a truck accident, you should talk to the California truck accident lawyers at Knoll Law Group. We represent truck accident victims in San Fernando Valley, greater Los Angeles and throughout California.
In order to hold a truck driver accountable for injuries in a truck accident, you will most likely need to establish the truck driver’s negligence. This means that you will need to prove that the truck driver owed you a duty to use reasonable care, there was a breach of the duty to use reasonable care, the breach caused the accident, and you suffered actual damages. Truck drivers may breach the duty to use reasonable care in many different ways, including speeding, tailgating, drunk driving, drugged driving, taking wide turns improperly, not leaving enough room to brake, failing to control a jackknifing truck, or failing to obey traffic signs and signals.
Interstate truck drivers are required to follow the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations. These are regulations that cover hours of service, operations, maintenance, inspections, loading trucks, and drug and alcohol tests. When a truck driver commits a violation of the FMCSA regulations, it can be easier to prove negligence. A truck accident attorney in California would need to prove that the driver’s violation caused the accident.
Interstate trucking companies are also required to follow FMCSA regulations when they are hiring and training drivers, including during administration of road tests, performance of background checks, checking of a job applicant’s driving record, random drug tests, and reviews of drivers’ logbooks. Trucking companies may be indirectly, or vicariously, liable for actions by their employees committed in the course and scope of employment. Also, trucking companies can be held directly liable under theories of negligent hiring, supervision, or training. For example, if a trucking company failed to conduct a background check that would have revealed a truck driver’s past DUIs and alcohol abuse problems, it may be held liable for negligent hiring. Similarly, if a trucking company fails to check logbooks, or encourages an employee truck driver to falsify logbooks, it may be liable for negligent supervision.
After a commercial truck accident, a California truck accident attorney will want to get an accident reconstruction expert out to the site to investigate all the contributing causes of the accident as soon as possible. The trucking company’s insurer will likely go out to the site right away, looking for ways in which the accident was not the truck driver’s fault. An accident reconstruction expert can help investigate all the contributing factors in a truck accident and determine which parties should be brought into the lawsuit, in addition to making sure that you have all the available evidence against the truck driver and trucking company.
Injuries to victims in a truck accident may be catastrophic or even fatal. If we can establish liability, we should be able to obtain compensatory damages, such as medical bills, lost wages, replacement services, out-of-pocket costs, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of consortium, and pain and suffering. When a truck accident causes an untimely death, loved ones may be able to recover damages in a wrongful death lawsuit.
Truck accidents can have devastating consequences. You may be able to recover damages through a personal injury lawsuit. If you were injured or a loved one was killed in a truck accident anywhere in California, you should consult the Knoll Law Group. Call us at (818) 610-0955 or complete our online form to discuss your situation with a truck accident lawyer serving California, as well as throughout California.