What Happens When a Truck Driver Has an Accident?
Being involved in a truck accident is a physically, emotionally, and financially traumatizing event. When a truck driver is responsible for causing an accident, victims in passenger vehicles deserve to be fairly compensated for their array of damages, including lost wages, medical bills, and more.
Few people know what happens when a truck driver has an accident, though. Since the trucking industry is so highly regulated, the at-fault truck driver will likely face an intense line of inquiry to determine exactly what went wrong and whether there were any violations. Frost Law Firm, PC is also standing by to help investigate the circumstances surrounding a truck accident.
Truckers Who Violate Regulations
Truck drivers who violate Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations may be required to:
- Pay fines
- Receive additional training
- Complete rehabilitative services
The above consequences often allow truck drivers to keep their commercial driver’s license (CDL) while acknowledging that their actions were wrongful, negligent, or reckless. The goal is to ultimately keep these truck drivers on the road.
Some of the most common violations we see at Frost Law Firm, PC include:
- FMCSA hours of service (HOS) violations
- Overloaded or improperly loaded trailers
- Substance abuse behind the wheel
- Licensing violations
- Recordkeeping violations
A trailer that has been improperly loaded or a driver who has been behind the wheel without a break poses a significant threat to the safety of California motorists and passengers. Current trucking industry regulations exist to protect everyone on the road from unnecessary harm or even death.
Who Is Liable—the Trucker or the Trucking Company?
A truck accident claim is a legal process used to recover compensation from the at-fault party in a serious truck accident. There is sometimes confusion when determining liability in a trucking collision. While the actions of the driver behind the wheel might have caused the accident, their employer will most likely be liable so long as they were acting within the scope of their job duties.
This means that rather than collecting compensation from a negligent driver, you will be going up against a trucking company with the backing of its insurer. The insurance company will do everything within its power to limit liability, even if there was proof of a trucking violation for which the driver is now facing consequences.
How To Prove Liability in a Truck Accident
One of the most effective lines of defense against the insurance company’s sneaky tricks and tactics is to hire an attorney to help file your truck accident claim. Taking this step signals to the insurance company that you mean business and only intend to accept a settlement that fully addresses the scope of your damages.
California state law follows pure comparative negligence, which means that you may collect compensation for an accident even if you were as much as 99% at fault. Your compensation will be reduced by your percentage of fault.
Since the insurance company may try to shift the majority of the blame for the accident onto you to avoid having to pay much of a settlement (if any), you and your attorney will collect evidence that clearly shows that you were not at fault, or, at the very least, that the truck driver was more at fault than you were.
At Frost Law Firm, PC, we use evidence collected from many different sources to support our clients’ claims, including:
- Truck black box data
- Dashcam footage
- Cell phone records
- HOS records
- Police accident reports
- Pictures of the accident scene
- Eyewitness statements
Document everything you can after an accident, from what you discussed with the police to when you saw your doctor. No piece of proof is too small, as it all works together to create a solid foundation upon which we can build your personal injury claim.
Types of Truck Accidents Caused by Driver Error
In our years of representing injury victims in California, the attorneys at Frost Law Firm, PC have dealt with a wide range of accidents that were ultimately the fault of a negligent, reckless, or careless truck driver. Here are some of the most common truck accidents we see at our firm:
- Truck rollovers
- T-bone accidents
- Jackknife accidents
- Rear-end or head-on collisions
- Override and underride accidents
- Wide turn accidents
- Sideswipe accidents
Driver error is one of the most common causes of the above accidents. We always look for some of the following behaviors when investigating truck crashes:
- Failure to yield
- Failure to stop at stop signs
- Distracted driving
- Driving too close for conditions or tailgating
- Failure to use turn signals
- Improper passing
- Drug or alcohol use
Call Frost Law Firm if a Truck Driver Caused Your Accident
When a truck driver has an accident, the aftermath is often so much more severe than a typical car accident. It follows that truck accident investigations are far more complex than those required for car accidents involving only passenger vehicles. If you intend to file a truck accident claim for the injuries you suffered in a collision, you’ll need to work with someone who has extensive experience dealing with the trucking industry.
The big trucking insurance companies in California know that Frost Law Firm, PC means business. We are fierce advocates for our clients, and we never rest until we secure fair and full compensation for their damages.
Do not delay—California only allows for two years from the date of your crash to file a truck accident claim. Contact our San Pedro office today to schedule your no-obligation case evaluation. The first meeting is always free, and there’s never any obligation to commit to our law firm.