Davis Truck Accident Lawyer
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, about 145,000 people suffered injuries in accidents involving large trucks in 2017. The number of people killed was 4,761, a nine-percent increase from 2016.
Unfortunately, many of these terrible accidents occur in California. Based on statistics by Distracted Driving Accidents, the state with the highest percentage of historical truck accidents in the last 10 years has been led by California.
If you or a loved one was involved in a crash with a large commercial truck, contact an experienced Davis truck accident lawyer to discuss your legal options. Call our injury lawyers at (530) 392-9400 for a free case evaluation.Parties that May Be Held Responsible in a Truck Accident Case
Depending on the facts of your case, you may be able to pursue personal injury claims against multiple defendants. For example, not all accidents are the result of operator negligence. If an accident is caused by a faulty part or another mechanical failure, you could hold a third-party manufacturer responsible for your harm and losses. Even if the operator was negligent, other responsible parties are likely to be included in the lawsuit, such as the trucking company hiring a reckless operator or failing to properly train the operator.What Needs to Be Proven in Your Truck Accident Case
In a tractor-trailer accident case, you must produce sufficient evidence to establish liability on the truck driver and their employer. To establish liability, the attorney must prove that the at-fault party owed a duty of care to exercise reasonable care under the circumstances and that the trucker breached that duty, causing your injuries.Evidence That Can Be Collected to Prove Your Case
Establishing a viable truck accident injury case requires an investigation of your accident as soon as possible. This is critically important to ensure evidence can be collected and preserved. Many types of information can serve as evidence in a truck accident case, including:
- Truck maintenance records
- Logbooks that are required to be maintained
- Eyewitness statements
Many severe truck accidents are caused by a truck operator's reckless or careless actions. The prevalence of negligent truck operators is surprising, given these vehicles' sheer size and weight. Imagine exercising extreme care when operating a car weighing over 80,000 pounds. Truck operator negligence often includes:
- Speeding or splitting lanes on roads or highways
- Driving with a too-heavy load
- Distracted driving
- Failing to secure cargo properly
- Operating the truck for some time beyond established hours of service
- Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
When there is evidence of an employer-employee relationship, it is possible to hold the employer accountable for their employee's negligence. In the context of a truck accident case, we are talking about a big rig operator as the employee and the trucking company as the employer.
You may be asking yourself, "how is an employer responsible for an employee's careless actions?" This legal responsibility is based upon "respondeat superior," which is a fancy legal term that means "if they are on your payroll, then you are potentially responsible for their careless actions." This doctrine only applies when the employee is performing a task related to their job duties and is within the scope of their employment. Therefore, if a big rig operator hits you while operating a sedan during their day off, you cannot hold the truck company responsible. But, if your car gets hit by an 18-wheeler while the operator is working, respondeat superior generally applies.Get Ready for a Fight
You need an experienced Davis truck accident lawyer on your side because many commercial trucking companies try to fight liability by arguing that the operator's negligent actions did not occur within the scope of employment.
Companies sometimes reduce their liability by hiring drivers as independent contractors rather than full-fledged employees. Deciphering these complex employer-employee relationships is necessary to ensure all responsible parties are included in your truck accident lawsuit.
Other parties can also be held responsible for your trucking accident, such as a part manufacturer if the accident was caused by a defect in a critical component part within the commercial truck.Holding Trucking Companies Liable for Improper Maintenance
Serious commercial trucking accidents are not just caused by operator negligence. Many accidents are caused by improper maintenance of the commercial truck causing it to malfunction while on a busy road or highway. To maximize profits, many trucking companies opt to defer routine maintenance. This is extremely risky since some commercial trucks that have been on the road for extended periods with little to no maintenance are effectively ticking time bombs.
Still, many trucking companies neglect to maintain their fleet of vehicles until an accident occurs. That's why state and federal regulations are put in place to ensure trucking companies inspect and maintain their vehicles properly.
Parts that have been known to malfunction include the air brake system, hydraulic system, steering components, and even tires (through continued use of tires with virtually no tread). If one or more of these systems and component parts fail, you may be able to seek financial restitution against the trucking company and the truck operator.
The following video explains the damages you can claim in a trucking accident lawsuit.Davis Truck Accident FAQ
Can I still recover damages if I was partly at fault in a truck accident?
You may still recover damages even if you also contribute to the trucking accident. Because California is a pure comparative fault state, the injured parties can file a claim even if they are partially to blame for the accident. However, not everyone is eligible for compensation in an accident, and that's why it is best to talk to a knowledgeable Davis truck accident lawyer for guidance with the claim process.
When should I talk to a lawyer about my truck accident?
You should consult with an experienced truck accident attorney as soon as possible. If you wait too long, evidence could be destroyed or lost at the crash site. The sooner you talk to an injury attorney, the quicker the lawyer can get started on gathering crucial evidence to help you win your settlement. Most lawyers offer a free consultation, so you have nothing to lose.
Call Our Trucking Accident Lawyers in Davis, CA Today
Injured in a big rig crash? Call one of our Davis truck accident lawyers at (530) 392-9400 or (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly advice. Our injury attorneys helped those hurt by negligent truckers and trucking firms in Davis and elsewhere in Yolo County get the compensation they deserve.
See our past verdicts and settlements.
Editor's Note: This page has been updated for accuracy and relevancy [cha 6.2.22]
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