The increase of trucks on the road in the past 20 years has been followed with an increase in truck-related accidents. Though big rigs are responsible for only 3 percent of motor vehicle accidents, the injuries sustained are typically more severe due to the massive weight and size of the majority of these trucks.
If you have been involved in an accident with a commercial truck within Westminster, you will find that the circumstances are typically more complicated than with a simple traffic accident. The driver and owner of the truck will likely both be involved in any case brought forth. Maintainance records regarding the truck and trailer, as well as load restrictions will be used in determining the validity of your claim and presentation of your case.
The trucking industry is controlled by federal regulations that establish a set of standards and can determine the responsible party in a given trucking accident. Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations contains most applicable regulations. Fortunately, by working with a firm like the Duque Law Group you can put years of expertise in your corner to understand your rights under the law.
There is a large number of potential responsible parties in any truck accident. These include: the driver, the owner, whoever leased the truck from the owner, the manufacturer of the vehicle or any parts, shippers and loaders, etc.
In recent years, trucking companies have worked tirelessly to avoid liability for accidents by distancing themselves from the drivers, equipment, and vehicles. They have the necessary permits to operate the vehicles, but they often do not own the equipment that is used to haul the load in the truck. They also hire drivers as independent contractors rather than employees, enabling them to shift the responsibility over to the commercial truck owner and driver.
However, federal regulations have fortunately made it so that any company who owns a trucking permit is liable for any accident that involves a truck with its name or placard on the vehicle.
Accident victims historically had to rely on witness statements and police reports to understand the specifics of an accident. Now, data from high tech devices and information from government agencies are also available for greater understanding.
The most frequent causes of truck accidents are driver error, mechanical failures, bad road or weather conditions, and traffic signal failures.
According to FMCSA, 88% of trucking accidents are caused by a driver’s action or failure to take action, fatigue and sleep deprivation.
The second biggest contributor to truck accidents is mechanical and equipment issues. These can be manufacturing mistakes, design errors in the vehicles or some other issue that interferes with the proper operation of the truck. The majority of mechanical causes of these accidents are a result of a failure to maintain the equipment properly. These can include the following: jackknifing of a truck which is caused by the depowering or removing of the front brakes, failure of the brakes as a result of inadequate adjustments, blowouts of the tires because of wear and tear, truck rollover because of improper securing of the load distribution, defective steering, transmission failure, incorrect trailer attachment, defective lighting on the rears or sides of vehicles, and many more.
Truck accidents can be quite complicated because there are so many individuals involved and severity of the injuries incurred. It can be quite an emotional time, making it difficult to navigate through the events and responsible parties without the help of an attorney who is knowledgeable and experienced with trucking law.
If you have been injured in a truck accident in the state of California, the Duque Law Group has the expertise and experience to be able to help you figure out who exactly is responsible so that you can proceed with a strong case and get the reparations that you deserve for your suffering. You will want a personal injury attorney to help you in your case after a truck accident, and the Duque Law Group is here to help you.
Contact our Orange County Personal Injury Attorneys at 1-877-241-9554 to learn more about your legal options. A free consultation is just a phone call away. You can even use our online contact form, and we’ll reply to you quickly.
Fields Marked With An ” *” Are Required