Truck accidents can result in catastrophic aftermaths for the parties involved, including the drivers and other road motorists. Subsequently, it is necessary to understand truck collisions’ nature to help you identify the possible parties to hold liable. Often, compensatory suits arising from such accidents drag on in civil court because of inaccurate information presented by the claimants on the parties responsible for the accidents. As a result, such claimants may never receive rightful compensation or may experience significant delays that derail the entire compensatory suit. Moreover, a failure to identify the right parties you can hold responsible after involvement in a truck accident can lead to inadequate compensation, especially if the respondents cannot afford all the fees ordered in court.
Hence, as a truck accident victim, you need to consider seeking a car accident attorney’s services. When you decide to seek legal compensation for your loss and injuries, working with a well-experienced lawyer who understands the civil court system will be highly beneficial for your case. At Los Angeles Car Accident Attorney, we dedicate ourselves to offering reliable legal services to our Los Angeles, California clients. Our wealth of experience in handling car accident compensatory cases gives us an edge in the field for positive case processes and outcomes. With our team’s help, we can identify the parties responsible for the truck accident that affected you. Afterward, we will support you by filing your compensatory suit and representing you during proceedings for a positive result.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Before identifying the liable parties in a truck accident case, it is essential to learn about the common causes of such collisions on the highway. In doing so, you will understand the different circumstances and other factors that play a significant role in enabling a truck crash. The leading causes of truck accidents in California are:
When a truck driver ignores the road and obstacles ahead, he/she is likely to cause severe collisions based on the unpreparedness to avoid such circumstances. Numerous distractors for road users exist, leading to unforeseen truck accidents. For example, if the truck driver was too engaged on the phone, he/she will not notice an approaching vehicle that could cause a head-on collision. Subsequently, the involvement in texting or speaking on another phone will be a direct cause of the collision, leaving you as an accident victim.
Additionally, several distractions may arise from other factors, such as eating or tuning the truck radio system for a proper signal. Passengers have also been linked to significant distractions on the road, primarily when they demand attention that draws the truck driver’s eyes from the road.
Using Excessive Speeds
Often, driving at excessive speeds ends in inevitable accidents, whether major or minor. Since most drivers cannot control vehicles at high speed, the ending is almost always predictable, with a few expected casualties. In most cases, speeding trucks can cause fatalities after collisions because of their massive size that creates a high impact.
Trucks moving at high speeds have affected pedestrians when an unsuspecting pedestrian gets hit by the fast-approaching vehicle. In this situation, even if the truck driver notices the impending danger before it occurs, he/she may be unable to stop the truck, leading to a catastrophic accident.
Poor Truck Maintenance
Cases of truck collisions caused by brake failure and other familiar mechanical problems are also prevalent causes of accidents and casualties. For example, even if a truck driver was driving cautiously, he/she cannot control the vehicle if an underlying mechanical problem limits the truck’s efficiency. Furthermore, the mechanical faults often lead to more complications if not adequately addressed on their onset.
Hence, the truck can exhibit serious problems while on the highway, causing a significant collision. Apart from accidents that arise from brake failure, tire-bursts can also affect the truck’s balance, leading it to veer off the designated lane or entirely off the road. Hence, you could get involved in the accident even if you were a bystander or pedestrian on the road sidelines.
Incompetence in Driving the Truck
An appointed truck driver must have the ability to handle the vehicle with skill and identify the helpful tips to avoid causing severe safety hazards. Hence, truck drivers should undergo intense professional training sessions that equip them with the necessary skills needed on the highway. Learning how to perform basic tasks like changing flat tires and cooling the engine in case of overheating is also necessary for a certified truck driver, to prevent him/her from getting stranded. Consequently, incompetence in handling any of the mandatory requirements puts other road users at significant risk of harm.
Numerous other causes and types of truck accidents exist, depending on the circumstances that led to the incident. They include:
- Sideswiping accidents often caused by reckless driving
- T-bone accidents mainly caused by ignoring red lights at intersections
- Rollover accidents caused by speeding or overtaking unsafely
Liable Parties In Truck Accidents
After becoming a truck accident victim, you may think of the next step to take, which often involves consulting a lawyer to help you seek compensation for your losses. If you decide to proceed with a legal suit, it is vital to make several considerations, including who the liable parties are likely to be.
When you schedule a consultation with your lawyer, he/she will discuss several facts that occurred before and after the truck accident to help get a clear picture of all parties present at the accident scene. The in-depth discussions and analysis are beneficial in identifying faults and linking them to the liable parties. In return, the logical links you and your lawyer identify will help you gather relevant sources of evidence to back up your claims in court. Upon a proper analysis, some of the liable parties you may identify include:
1. The Truck Driver Operating the Vehicle During the Incident
Naturally, most discussions and investigations may lead you to identify the truck driver liable for the collision you were involved in. The probabilities in finding the truck driver responsible arise from his/her direct involvement in operating the truck, meaning that any subsequent actions are likely to cause a collision.
However, pointing out the truck driver as a liable party is not enough, especially if you lack sufficient proof to back the claim. Hence, you and your car accident attorney should identify primary evidential sources and legal arguments to place the truck driver’s liability. Often, truck accident cases arise from negligence on one of the parties. Therefore, your lawyer should assess your case and check for any negligent actions that the truck driver may have engaged in.
Suppose you were driving on the highway and got hit from the side by a truck moving at high speed. In that case, your attorney can organize private investigations to study the events that occurred moments before the collision. Subsequently, if you receive feedback about the truck driver having skipped red traffic lights or breaking any other regulations, you can prove the negligent factor.
Such investigation strategies would also apply where the truck driver exhibited aggressive driving behavior, including overlapping, overtaking wrongfully, and forcing the truck into your lane without waiting for you to create enough space. Such practices involve rough driving techniques aimed at intimidating other motorists and forcing them out of the way. We recommend mentioning such details to your car accident lawyer to help prove the truck driver’s misconduct.
Moreover, a truck driver will be liable if official tests show that he/she was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident. Section 23152 of the California Vehicle Code prohibits all motorists, including truck drivers, from driving when drunk because of the obvious risks it poses to the driver and other motorists. Hence, if further investigations reveal that the truck driver had surpassed the set blood alcohol content level for commercial drivers, he/she is answerable for the accident and its effects.
2. The Truck Driver Employers
Often, the truck driver involved in causing an accident will not be directly liable to pay compensation in court, primarily if a vicarious relationship exists between him/her and the employer. Hence, the driver’s employer may become vicariously liable for all harm caused by the truck accident. Nevertheless, there are several requirements for the driver to fulfill before liability shifts to the employer completely.
Firstly, the driver should have been within the employment scope, meaning that the accident must have occurred during the truck driver’s professional duties. For example, if the driver is a transporter for a supermarket chain, the primary roles involve moving stock from warehouses to the stores for unpackaging and display on shelves. Hence, showing that the driver was performing daily tasks directed by employers will help shift the employers’ financial liability.
However, it would help if you noted that the burden of proof to show the driver’s actions were within the employment scope might land on you as the claimant. The rationale behind the requirement is that you will be trying to put the employer in the liability position, mainly because the truck driver cannot afford full compensation. Therefore, you must explain the reasoning behind your sources of evidence to promote a sensible argument during the proceedings.
3. The Truck Maintenance and Surveillance Company
Moreover, in cases where a company is responsible for maintaining and supervising a convoy of trucks, it will be answerable to any accidents that occur on its watch. Typically, the truck companies that rent out their vehicles to other users are the main liable parties in this category. Since the company should uphold high maintenance and safety standards, most attention shifts to the responsible parties to explain why an accident occurred despite their duties to prevent it.
Maintenance duties range from checking on the general condition of the truck that should occur periodically. Here, the maintenance company should conduct performance checks to ensure that all vehicle systems are operating smoothly to prevent mishaps.
Moreover, truck companies are encouraged to conduct random quality checks to keep the truck drivers operating assigned vehicles on their toes. Thanks to the random checks for quality and standards, the truck drivers should fuel, clean, and perform minor maintenance duties every day before using the trucks. Therefore, if such quality checks are not upheld, the drivers and other maintenance employees will slack in performing their roles.
Furthermore, truck companies should also organize digital systems to track their vehicle locations, speeds, and estimated time before reaching their destinations. The strict surveillance systems should help keep the truck drivers alert to scrutiny and help them abide by the existing regulations. Consequently, if no surveillance systems are available to keep track of the truck drivers, they are likely to break company and traffic rules, leading to severe truck accidents.
4. The Local Government entity Responsible for Maintaining the Roads
Sometimes, poor road conditions are the primary cause of truck accidents, primarily if poor conditions arise from improper repair and maintenance. Hence, it is not uncommon for a truck to lose control because of a large pothole on the road, resulting in a severe collision. If you suffer injury from the accident, conducting a thorough investigation will reveal the unmaintained road as a significant cause of the high impact collision.
Moreover, improper road maintenance also includes the failure to mark roads properly, leading to unforeseen collisions, especially at junctions and intersections. For example, suppose a busy street has a faded stop line where motorists should slow down and give way to proceeding vehicles. In that case, the local maintenance authorities should answer truck accidents caused by the lack of proper road markings.
Similarly, the local maintenance authorities should partner with the National Transport Highway and Safety Authority to erect traffic signs along the highways and residential streets. The presence of traffic signs is an essential element to reduce the probability of road accidents from occurring. For example, if there is no sign present to indicate a diversion, motorists may collide as they try to avoid narrowing road lanes or construction works ahead.
Even when adverse weather conditions like hurricanes and storms leave debris on the road, the local government or municipal authorities should clear the roads to prevent vehicles from skidding or losing control. The debris includes fallen trees and branches, broken glass and rocks that may end up on the way. If the authorities neglect their duties to undertake such clearance operations, truck accidents that injure you or cause severe loss will place liability on the maintenance bodies.
5. Truck Driver Trainers
Before a truck driver gains authorization to operate the vehicle, he/she should undertake training sessions to ensure that he/she understands how to maneuver the truck. Moreover, the training will provide the driver with handy tips to avoid creating safety hazards while on the road. Hence, the trainers in charge of educating aspiring truck drivers should pass on useful information that prevents carelessness and incompetence.
When a truck driver involved in an accident reveals that his/her actions were in light of the training passed on during the educational period, your attorney can extend civil liability to the responsible trainers. They will explain why they passed on harmful tips that eventually caused a severe truck accident that caused you harm and damage to property in court.
Trainers are also responsible for partnering with driving schools to pass on valuable information to driving students before they specialize in truck operations. If such trainers missed out on taking up duties to guide the driver in question and verifying his/her competence skill, they are answerable in your case. Additionally, they will have to explain how they authorized the driver before testing his/her skill level, as it created a reasonable opportunity for the truck accident to occur.
6. Truck Manufacturing Companies
Furthermore, manufacturing companies should produce high-quality products that prevent malfunctioning and premature wear and tear, leading to truck accidents. Therefore, if your accident arose from substandard truck parts that caused a mechanical problem, you may hold the manufacturing or assembly company liable for your losses.
In the manufacturing warehouses, supervisors should ensure that the machines or personnel tasked with putting the vehicle parts together are experienced and competent enough to perform the tasks seamlessly. The manufacturing process should also include standard procedures that uphold the use of high-quality materials and proper assembly.
Additionally, you may also sue the company or retail store that sold defective spare parts that caused significant malfunctions in the truck, leading to an accident. For example, if a replaced door hinge on the truck fell off and hit your vehicle as you drove behind the truck in traffic, you can sue the spare part store that sold the substandard hinges. In such a suit, it would also be advisable to include the truck maintenance company in your compensatory claims, as they should have checked on such defects before authorizing the vehicle to move on the highway.
7. Other Motorist on the Road
Usually, some accidents may occur from other road users’ recklessness or carelessness, creating a multiple car crash. These phenomena are common in intersections because of the numerous intertwining lanes that require extra caution as cars proceed. Hence, a truck accident involving you may begin with a head-on collision with a third party driver, leading the truck in your direction where you may become victim to a T-bone accident or a side sweep collision, among others.
When your lawyer takes on another road user as the primary defendant in your case, he/she should focus on providing reliable evidential sources that show direct causation to the incident. For example, surveillance footage revealing how the accident ensued is persuasive evidence, leading to the imposition of liability on the third party road user.
Without presenting such proof, the defendant may otherwise claim that the proximity of causation is too far fetched and that the case should be dropped. Hence, it is necessary for your attorney to source reliable evidence that leaves little room for other possibilities.
Compensatory Claims to Include in Your Suit
Once you have established that the defendant is a liable party in your case, the next step involves drafting your claims in a demand letter. Here, you will include all injuries sustained from the truck accident. Common personal injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal injuries
- Bone fractures
- Dislocated bone sockets
- Excessive bleeding
On top of this, your lawyer will advise you to obtain original documents from the hospital or clinic where you received treatment to justify your claims. Therefore, it would be best to present all medical receipts, prescription forms, imaging documents, and other relevant documentary information. With the legitimate proof of seeking medical attention, you can seek reasonable sums from the defendant to compensate you for all your medical expenses.
Moreover, you can raise claims for the loss of working capacity, mostly if your injuries were severe and caused irreversible damage. Subsequently, such personal injuries will limit your mobility and flexibility, meaning that you may be unable to engage in activities along your career path. As a result, you are entitled to receive compensation for the future loss of wages and working capacity.
A claim for property damage is also acceptable, immensely, if your car suffered extreme damage from the truck accident. Therefore, you can include all receipts used to repair or replace damaged car parts to validate your claims and prevent the defendants from raising doubtful remarks about your claims.
Find a Car Accident Attorney Near Me
After falling victim to a truck accident, you may have to deal with many after-effects, including nursing your injuries, grieving the loss of a loved one, and dealing with damaged property. Consequently, you may quickly become overwhelmed by all your responsibilities, making it challenging to seek rightful compensation for the sustained losses. Therefore, you will need the help of a well-experienced attorney who will put your needs first and help you file your suit on time and support you throughout the litigation process.
At the Los Angeles Car Accident Attorney, you will receive exceptional legal services from some of the best car accident lawyers in Los Angeles, California. Our years of practice in personal injury compensatory suits will have you in good hands to help you pursue your civil suit. Our ultimate goal is to help you receive rightful compensation for your injuries, among other losses, to help you resume your everyday life with ease. To get in touch, call us today at 424-237-3600.