When a large commercial truck collides with a smaller vehicle, the results can be catastrophic. These types of accidents can cause serious injuries or fatalities and can have a lasting impact on the lives of those involved. Truck accidents can be complex, involving multiple parties and various contributing factors that all point to what caused the crash. Uncovering the true cause of a truck accident is pertinent to filing a successful personal injury case and recovering compensation for any injuries or losses sustained that a victim did not ask for.
Truck accidents can be caused by a variety of factors, and the specific circumstances of each case will determine the parties that may be held liable. Here are some of the most frequently observed truck accident cases:
- Driver error. Truck drivers are responsible for operating their vehicles safely and following traffic laws. However, mistakes can happen, and driver error is a common cause of truck accidents. This can include distracted driving, such as texting or eating while driving, fatigue, or reckless behavior. In these cases, the truck driver may be liable for the accident.
- Trucking company negligence. These companies are responsible for properly maintaining their vehicles and training and supervising their drivers. If a trucking company fails to do so and an accident occurs, it may be held liable. This can include failing to properly maintain the truck, failing to train or supervise drivers properly, or pressuring drivers to meet unrealistic deadlines.
- Defective truck parts. Trucks are made up of various components, and if any of these parts are defective, it can lead to an accident. This can include faulty brakes, tires, or steering systems. In these cases, the manufacturer or distributor of the defective parts may be liable for the accident.
- Improperly loaded or secured cargo. Cargo needs to be properly packed and secured to ensure the stability and safety of the truck. If the cargo is not loaded correctly or secured, it can shift during transport and cause the truck to lose stability, leading to an accident. In these cases, the party responsible for loading or securing the cargo may be liable.
- Hazardous weather conditions or poorly maintained roads. Truck accidents can also be caused by dangerous weather conditions or poorly maintained roads. In these cases, the government agency responsible for maintaining the roads or the weather conditions may be liable for the accident. Therefore, it’s important for roads to be maintained appropriately and for warning signs to be in place to alert drivers of potential hazards.
- Inexperience. Truck driving can be a demanding job mandating a high level of skill and attention to detail. Drivers new to the job or with little experience may be more prone to making mistakes that can lead to accidents. It’s important for trucking companies to properly train and supervise inexperienced drivers to ensure their personal safety and the safety of others on the road.
- Substance abuse. Drugs and alcohol can impair a driver’s judgment and ability to operate a truck safely. Therefore, truck drivers are subject to drug and alcohol testing, and trucking companies need to enforce strict policies to prevent substance abuse.
- Medical conditions. Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes or sleep apnea, can affect a driver’s ability to operate a truck safely. Therefore, it’s important for truck drivers to disclose any medical conditions that may impact their ability to drive and for trucking companies to ensure that drivers are fit for duty.
- Improper training. Truck drivers are required to receive proper training and certification to operate a commercial vehicle. If a truck driver has not received proper training or has not been properly certified, it can increase the risk of an accident. Therefore, trucking companies need to ensure that their drivers are properly trained and certified to ensure safety on the road.
- Overloaded trucks. Trucks are designed to carry a certain amount of weight, and if a truck is overloaded, it can affect the stability and handling of the vehicle, leading to an accident. Overloaded trucks can also be more prone to mechanical failures, such as tire blowouts or brake failures. Therefore, trucking companies need to ensure that their trucks are not overloaded and are properly maintained to ensure safety on the road.
Q: Who Is Typically Held Responsible for a Truck Accident?
A: The parties responsible for a truck accident will depend on the case’s specific circumstances. It could be the truck driver, the trucking company, the manufacturer or distributor of defective truck parts, the party responsible for loading or securing the cargo, or a government agency responsible for maintaining the roads.
Q: What Damages Can Be Sought in a Truck Accident Case?
A: Victims of truck accidents may be able to seek damages for their medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. In some instances, punitive damages may be sought if the responsible party’s actions were particularly reckless or negligent.
Q: How Long Do I Have to File a Truck Accident Claim in California?
A: In California, victims of truck accidents generally have two years after the documented accident date to file a claim. This is known as the statute of limitations. However, this time frame can differ according to the case’s circumstances, so it’s best to consult a California attorney as soon as possible to understand your legal options.
Q: Can I File a Claim if I Was Partially at Fault for the Accident in California?
A: In California, victims of truck accidents may still be able to recover damages even if they were partially at fault for the accident. This is known as comparative fault, and the damages awarded may be reduced based on the victim’s level of fault. For example, if a victim was awarded $100,000 in damages but was found to be 25% at fault for the accident, their damages would be reduced by $25,000 to $75,000. It’s important to consult an experienced attorney to understand your legal options and the potential impact of comparative fault on your case.
Contact Guenard & Bozarth, LLP, Today
At Guenard & Bozarth, LLP, our Sacramento truck accident attorneys have extensive experience handling truck accident cases and are committed to helping injured victims seek the compensation they deserve. If you or a family member has been injured in a truck accident, don’t hesitate to contact us for help and start your case today.