According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, a total of 4,951 people lost their lives in 2018 as a result of a traffic accident involving a large truck. Unlike other types of traffic accidents, truck accidents are more likely to result in catastrophic or fatal injuries. Regrettably, most truck accidents are preventable, and usually occur as a result of human error.
In California, when a person is injured in an accident that was caused by another’s careless actions, the ability to recover compensation may be possible but there are some very common complications that often come up during such a case. If you or someone you know was recently injured in a truck accident, understanding the complexities that could arise when pursuing compensation is important. Being well prepared for a complex case can help set the expectations of the potential case outcome and help to maximize the damages available.
The Difficulty in Establishing Fault in a California Truck Accident
Determining liability for the truck accident is an extremely complicated issue, and it is also the main difficulty behind truck accident claims (legal definition of “liability“). In some cases, establishing liability may be a straightforward process. For instance, when the truck driver is found to be driving without a necessary rest or break. The reality is that most truck accidents involve a wide-range of potential at-fault parties. The following is a short list of parties that should be considered in a truck accident claim:
- The commercial vehicle operator,
- The truck owner,
- The freight company,
- The truck leasing company,
- The party responsible for loading the cargo,
- The party responsible for maintaining the commercial vehicle,
- The company responsible for the truck’s inherently dangerous design,
- The manufacturing company that produced the defective tires on the truck,
- The city or county responsible for maintaining the road where the accident took place, and/or
- The city or county responsible for designing and constructing the road where the accident took place.
To establish fault in a truck accident, an exhaustive investigation of the case will be necessary. The following are key pieces of evidence that can help establish fault:
- The police report,
- Forensic evidence,
- The vehicle’s black box data,
- Witness accounts,
- Video surveillance, and
- Accident reconstruction expert deposition.
Necessary Elements to Prove Negligence in a California Truck Accident Case
To have a successful truck accident claim, negligence must be established. When pursuing a claim for damages, the claim will allege that the at-fault party was careless, and therefore is responsible for the damages caused by the accident. To have a successful claim, all of the following elements should be strongly demonstrated:
- The at-fault party had a responsibility to act in a manner that would reasonably prevent the injury of others;
- The at-fault party failed to observe that responsibility;
- The failure resulted in the damages raised by the truck accident claim; and
- The injury resulted in economic and/or non-economic damages.
Obtain Experienced Legal Counsel Following a Truck Accident
Unquestionably, truck accident claims are complex, but the challenges faced in filing a claim should not deter you from seeking the damages you are owed. Regularly, truck accidents result in serious injuries, and they also sometimes result in fatal injuries. Following a truck accident, speak to an attorney who can advocate on your behalf.
Attorney Scot T. Moga is exceptionally skilled in challenging truck accident cases. With more than 20 years of dedicated legal experience, truck accident attorney Moga has helped hundreds of injured truck accident victims recover the monetary compensation they needed to get their lives back on track. Consider scheduling a free consultation with Attorney Scot T. Moga today.