How do I Prove Liability in a Truck Accident Case

Being hurt in any form of accident is extremely frustrating. The events during and after any accident bring untold misery and pain to the accident victim and their loved ones. Truck accidents can be more devastating due to the sheer size of the trucks and the extent of the injuries and damages they cause to the victims, the victims’ loved ones, and the victims’ property. Despite the initial confusion that surrounds the victim, it is fundamental that the victims remain level-headed so they can pursue the at-fault parties for the resultant harm and property damage. Failure to maintain composure during such times may result in not getting the compensation they deserve. Engaging a reliable truck accident lawyer can be crucial in these situations to ensure proper legal representation and to secure the deserved compensation.

Denial of Liability by At-Fault Parties

Due to the extent of the injuries or property damage suffered by the victims of truck accidents, the amount of compensation that can be claimed by the victims can be substantial, potentially causing financial distress for the at-fault party. Consequently, the at-fault parties exercise extreme caution and care regarding liability. Any admission of liability on their end can spell financial doom for them. In light of this, trucking companies, truck drivers, and their insurance providers often do not admit liability. Truck drivers and trucking companies are under strict instructions not to admit liability. It is not uncommon for truck drivers and trucking companies to turn around and blame the victim for the accident.

Importance of Engaging Experienced Truck Accident Lawyers

While denial of liability could be the standard practice and response to truck accidents, there are certain instances in which the truck companies and the truck drivers may not even want to engage with the victims of the truck accident. The silence from these at-fault parties can be a nightmare for any ordinary person as they may not know how best to proceed with the matter to get the compensation they genuinely deserve. Therefore, it is extremely vital that truck accident victims engage an experienced truck accident lawyer to have the best shot at getting the compensation they deserve. The engaged personal injury attorneys will primarily investigate how the accident occurred to determine liability, put together and examine all possible pieces of evidence surrounding the case, and review them to conclusively decide on the issue of liability.

Big Ben Lawyers has always been at the forefront to ensure that the truck accident victims in California get the compensation that they deserve. Big Ben Lawyers have the necessary experience and capacity to help truck accident victims in totality. Contact Big Ben Lawyers today so that you can commence the process of getting the compensation that you or your loved ones deserve.

How do I Prove Liability in a Truck Accident Case

What Types of Truck Driver Negligence Can Cause a Truck Accident?

The law provides that one is considered negligent if they commit or fail to take an action that would violate an expected duty of care towards another person and in the process cause injury to them. The law expects individuals to be conscious about their decisions to ensure their actions do not harm others. Simply put, the law expects individuals to care about the consequences of their actions and avoid actions whose consequences could potentially hurt others.

Common Forms of Truck Driver Negligence

Driving Under the Influence: Alcohol and drugs impair judgment, impacting a driver’s ability to respond to danger. Truck drivers are considered intoxicated with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.008, which is stricter than the 0.004 limit for car drivers. Driving while intoxicated constitutes negligence.

Speeding: Trucks should be driven at speeds that allow easy control. High speeds make controlling a large truck difficult, increasing the risk of accidents. Speeding in a truck is considered negligent driving.

Reckless Driving: Truck drivers are expected to drive in a careful and organized manner. Reckless driving can result in accidents, and if it causes harm, it is considered negligence.

Aggressive Driving: Trucks should be driven systematically with awareness of other road users. Aggressive driving can lead to accidents, making the driver liable for any resultant harm or damage.

Driving While Fatigued: Fatigue impairs response time. Truck drivers must avoid driving when fatigued to prevent accidents and associated injuries and property damage.

Violating Hours of Service: Truck drivers have regulated driving hours. Driving beyond these hours can lead to exhaustion and loss of control, constituting negligence if it results in an accident.

Distracted Driving: Truck drivers should be fully focused on driving. Distractions such as arguing, using a phone, or not paying attention to the road can cause accidents, constituting negligence.

Incorrect Lane Changes: Changing lanes requires concentration and awareness of blind spots. Improper lane changes can result in accidents, making the driver negligent.

Failing to Inspect Trucks: Truck drivers must inspect their trucks before journeys. Failure to do so can lead to accidents due to undetected defects, making the driver liable.

Lack of Proper Training: Truck drivers must be properly trained. Insufficient training can lead to accidents, and trucking companies must ensure their drivers are adequately trained to avoid negligence.

Ignoring Traffic Signs and Lights: Truck drivers must observe traffic laws, signs, and lights. Failure to do so can result in accidents and be considered negligence.

Importance of Legal Assistance

Contact a personal injury lawyer immediately after an accident to ensure crucial evidence is maintained and preserved. Failing to collect and preserve critical evidence can make it difficult to obtain the compensation one deserves.

The Investigation after a Truck Accident

It is fundamental to note that trucking companies would in most instances rush to the accident scene to do an investigation as to what could have happened before, during, and after the accident. The principal reason why they rush to the scene is to ensure that they can find evidence that would support their case that the truck driver was not negligent. It follows therefore that you should also ensure that you collect all the pieces of evidence at the scene so that you can equally have a report that fundamentally and critically contradicts the findings of the insurance company. It follows therefore that you should equally find a competent team that can be able to come up with a conclusive report on the accident.

It follows therefore that you should ensure that you take pictures of the accident scene, take witness statements or witness contacts if possible, take videos of the accident, make a summary of what happened, draw a sketch map of the accident, and ensure that you get to record anything that would significantly build up your case. While most of the evidence can be found at the scene of the accident, certain pieces of evidence can only be found in the records of the trucking company, the police reports, and the investigation of the truck itself. It follows therefore that you must engage the services of an experienced truck accident lawyer so that they can assist you in collecting and building up your truck accident claim.

What Is Needed to Prove Negligence in a California Truck Accident?

While most truck accident cases are settled through intensive negotiations and ultimate settlements, certain cases have to find their way into court. The principal reason for this is that the trucking company may not admit liability, may not be willing to pay a significant and just settlement, or in certain occasions because the victim of the truck accident would want to believe that they are entitled to much more than what they are being offered by the insurance company.

It follows therefore that if a truck accident case finds itself in court, the truck accident victim has to prove the following:

• Duty of Care: The victim of the truck accident must prove that the truck driver had a duty of care to ensure that they drove the truck responsibly and carefully to avoid causing harm.
• Breach of Duty: The victim must demonstrate that the truck driver breached the duty of care when they failed to safely and responsibly drive the truck.
• Causation: The victim must prove that the truck driver’s breach of duty directly caused the injuries suffered.
• Damages: As a result of the breach of duty and subsequent harm, the victim suffered damages.

While the above may appear pretty straightforward, they are complicated and would require one to wholly demonstrate them if they are to get any compensation for the truck accident. If the victim has proven the above, they would be able to get the compensation that they deserve. For more information on how to navigate these legal challenges, you can visit this comprehensive guide on truck accident claims.

What Is the Employer’s Liability for a Trucker’s Negligence?

Trucking companies would be liable for the actions and the inactions of their drivers. The following are some of the instances in which trucking companies can be found liable for truck accidents.

Allowing truck drivers who are not properly trained to drive their trucks- It is expected that the truck companies must only allow truck drivers who are properly trained to drive their trucks. Allowing improperly trained drivers to drive their trucks would be a form of negligence on the part of the insurance company.

Allowing intoxicated drivers to drive their trucks- It is expected that the trucking companies must ensure that their drivers are not drunk while in control of their trucks. If it is found that the truck company was aware of the previous driver’s record of driving while intoxicated, they shall be found liable for the accident.

Allowing their drivers to violate hours of service- if it is found that the trucking company allowed the drivers to drive the trucks outside the stipulated hours, they shall be found liable for the accident.

Encouraging their truck drivers to speed up deliveries- if it is found that the truck companies encouraged their drivers to speed up their deliveries by going beyond the stipulated speed limits, they shall be found negligent and liable for the trucking accident.

It should be noted that even if the trucking companies were not directly responsible for the truck accident, the trucking companies shall still be found liable for the actions of their truck drivers. This is what is known as vicarious liability. While most truck companies would want to run away from their employer-employee relationship, the courts will look into the matter to determine liability.

What is the statute of limitations for truck accident claims in California?

The law stipulates that one must file a truck accident claim within two years from when the accident occurred. However, if there is a late discovery of an injury that emanated from the truck accident, the truck accident claim must be filed within one year from when the discovery was made. It follows therefore that one must be prompt in putting together all the pieces of evidence in a truck accident claim so that they cannot be found to have filed their claim outside the provided timelines. The failure to file a truck accident case in time is likely to result in a situation in which one may not recover the compensation that should be paid to them.

Related FAQs

Q: How soon should I contact a personal injury lawyer after an accident occurred?

A: You should contact a lawyer as soon as you are involved in an accident so that they can guide you on the best steps to take to ensure that you get the compensation that you deserve. Failing to consult a lawyer in time may adversely affect your claim as you may not be able to file your claim in time.

Q: Should I engage the insurance company of the at-fault truck company without a lawyer?

A: No. You should only engage the insurance company of the at-fault parties with the help of a personal injury lawyer. The danger of engaging an insurance company without a lawyer is that you shall be disadvantaged during the negotiations with an insurance company and you may end up receiving a settlement amount that is way lower than what you are entitled to get.

Q: What should I do if I discover that I have not filed my truck accident lawsuit on time?

A: You should contact an experienced truck accident attorney as soon as you discover that you have failed to file your personal injury claim on time. The lawyer shall advise you on the best steps to take to ensure that you get the compensation that you deserve.

Q: How long will my truck accident case take before it is resolved?

A: The length of time that it shall take before your case is resolved is largely dependent on so many things including the complexity of determining liability, the type of lawyer that you engage, the willingness of the insurance company to resolve your case, the timelines of the court and other factors that may largely be beyond your control.

Q: What should you consider before hiring a truck accident lawyer?

A: You should consider the experience of the truck accident attorney, the availability of the lawyer to handle your case, whether there are disciplinary issues against the lawyer, what their past clients say about them, the manner with which they charge their fees, the temperament of the lawyer, the approachability of the lawyer and whether or not they have previously dealt with a case that is similar to yours.

Q: What should I do immediately after a truck accident?

A: You should ensure that you visit a medical center so that you can be examined for the extent of the injuries that you have suffered. You should also contact an experienced truck accident attorney so that they can advise you on the best steps to take to ensure that you get the compensation that you deserve. You must also take medication and do whatever you have been instructed by the medical professional who attended to you including going for further medical check-ups.

Q: Shall I be compensated even if I was partly the at-fault party?

A: Yes. You shall be eligible to get compensation even if you were partially at fault party. However, the amount of compensation that you shall be eligible to receive shall be directly proportional to the amount of your contribution to the occurrence of the accident.

Q: How much does it cost to hire a personal injury lawyer?

A: The cost of hiring a personal injury lawyer is largely dependent on the lawyer that you engage. While most lawyers charge on a contingency fee basis (they can only get paid if they are successful in court), other lawyers would charge differently. You must inquire from your lawyer about how they charge before engaging them to assist you with your truck accident case.

Big Ben Lawyers

Big Ben Lawyers have the experience and the capacity to help truck accident victims attain the compensation that they deserve. We have successfully represented hundreds of truck accident victims and we would be glad to use the experience acquired therein to help you with your case. We are available throughout the week and we shall start working on your case as soon as you contact us.

Reference and Citations

[1] Faster Capital, Truck Accidents: Understanding the Unique Risks and Legalities, available at–Understanding-the-Unique-Risks-and-Legalities.html accessed on 18.5.2024

[2] ibid

[3] ibid

[4] ibid

[5] ibid

[6] Ibid

[7] Cloud Trucks, Tips For New Truck Drivers: Starting Your Career Strong, available at accessed on 18.5.2024

[8] Ibid

[9] Ibid

[10] Ibid

[11] Ibid.

[13]  Justia, Settlements in Truck Accident Lawsuits, available at accessed on 18.5.2024


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