Negligent driving, severe weather, poor road conditions, road construction, inadequate training, improperly loaded cargo, poor maintenance and defective parts are just a few of the causes of big truck accidents. When a big truck gets into a collision with a smaller vehicle, the outcome can be catastrophic for the occupants of the smaller vehicle. The victims may be left with severe and even fatal injuries that result in physical, emotional and economic damages for themselves and their families.
Personal injury claims involving a commercial truck accident are often more complicated than a case involving a collision between two automobiles. Not only do they result in more severe damage and injuries, there can also be several parties in addition to the truck’s driver that may share liability for the accident.
In order for a person injured in a truck accident to obtain the full compensation they are entitled to, it’s important to be able to identify all the parties that played a part in the accident.
Liability in Big Truck Accidents in California
The 18 wheeler accident attorneys at Dinsmore & Sandelmann have been representing drivers and passengers injured in truck accidents for over 30 years. We have extensive experience investigating the causes of truck accidents and determining who can be held liable in Manhattan Beach truck accident.
Depending on the circumstances in your case, it may be possible to seek damages against one or more of the following parties:
The truck’s driver is responsible for the safe operation of their vehicle. Was the driver involved in negligent driving, such as speeding or tailgating? Were they suffering from fatigue or under the influence of drugs or alcohol? Did they have the proper training to be driving a big rig?
The trucking company is responsible for hiring and employing safe drivers with a clean driving record and sufficient experience, as well as maintaining their vehicles in proper working condition.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), along with a variety of federal and state laws, regulate and govern the trucking industry, establishing rules for how much weight a truck can carry, the hours a drivers can be on the road, and the training a truck driver must receive to name just a few. It is the trucking company’s job to ensure these rules are followed among their employees and operations.
Third Party Maintenance Crews
Maintenance and repair crews are responsible for keeping the trucks in safe operating condition.
Trucks can be overloaded, placing undue stress on the vehicle’s wheels, shocks and brakes. Improperly loaded cargo can shift during transport. The cargo can make the truck too top heavy, increasing the risk of a rollover. And cargo that wasn’t properly secured could fall off, causing an accident.
A company that leases commercial trucks and trailers has a legal responsibility to ensure their equipment is in safe working order.
Manufacturer of the Truck and its Parts
In some instances, defective parts and components may have contributed to the accident.
Did poor road conditions due to construction and other projects contribute to the accident? Were speed limit and road hazard signs properly displayed?
Driver of a Passenger Vehicle
The driver of the automobile involved in the accident, or other passenger vehicles around the truck, may also share some responsibility for the accident if it can be shown that they were driving in the truck’s blind spot, made an unsafe lane passing, or failed to take the proper caution around a truck making a turn.
Determining Who Can Be Held Liable in a Manhattan Beach Truck Accident
California is a comparative negligence state, which means that after an accident in which more than one party was found to be negligent, the jury determines the degree or percentage of responsibility each party shares.
Some of these parties (especially the trucking companies) may seek to avoid responsibility by trying to blame others for the accident. Having the evidence you need to prove who was responsible for the wreck is crucial in a truck accident case.
You can depend on the Manhattan Beach 18 wheeler accident attorneys at Dinsmore & Sandelmann to do whatever it takes to conduct a thorough investigation to obtain the evidence needed to support your claim after a truck accident. We aren’t afraid to take on the trucking companies and their insurance companies; our in-depth knowledge of the trucking industry, FMCSA policies, and state and local laws gives us an edge that many law firms don’t possess.
Contact Dinsmore & Sandelmann today to schedule a free, no obligation consultation to discuss your case with one of our highly experienced accident attorneys.