After a traffic accident, it can be difficult to know what to do. This is especially true regarding truck accidents, as protecting your rights as a victim can be challenging and complicated. Always reach out to a truck accident lawyer in the Bay Area for help immediately.
Determine liability for rightful compensation
Trucking accidents specifically present many complexities when determining who is at fault. In these cases, a company is typically involved, which can result in multiple insurance claims. For example, the accident may involve a commercial trucking company that employs a driver or allows contract drivers to use its trucks. It is necessary to identify all sources of liability so you can have as much coverage as possible. Corporate coverage usually has much higher policy limits than those of individual drivers.
Once you determine liability, you must prove liability. You can prove the driver, trucking company, or both are liable.
Demonstrating a driver was negligent is often the key to proving liability, and drivers can be negligent in many ways. Consider the following common types of truck driver negligence:
- Fatigued driving = Truckers are on the road for long hours, so it is easy to become dangerously fatigued. If a driver fell asleep at the wheel or violated hours of service limitations, you might prove fatigued driving caused your accident.
- Distracted driving = Truck drivers often look for ways to entertain themselves behind the wheel all day or night, which might mean engaging in distracting activities.
- Violating other traffic laws and trucking regulations = Drivers who speed, drive under the influence of alcohol, or violate other road rules or federal regulations are negligent and should be liable.
You can demonstrate trucking company liability in one of two ways:
- Showing the trucking company employed the driver or allowed the driver to operate its big rig. Even if the trucking company did nothing wrong, it can be vicariously liable for the conduct of the driver.
- Showing the trucking company was negligent on its own, such as by negligent hiring, supervision, or retention of drivers, or due to failing to conduct proper truck maintenance or driver drug and alcohol testing.
In either situation, proving liability is a complicated matter, and the insurance companies for the liable parties will only make it more difficult. Having the right attorney handling your claim is imperative to ensure that you receive the maximum compensation that you need for your losses.
If you are injured in a truck crash, never try to navigate the legal process alone. Focus on getting the medical treatment you need, and then allow a lawyer to protect your rights.
Contact us to discuss your situation with a San Francisco big rig accident lawyer
If you were in a truck accident, you need to consult with a truck accident law firm – like the Cartwright Law Firm – as soon as possible. We welcome all inquiries from crash victims, and we can evaluate your rights and options. You may schedule a free consultation by reaching out to our team online today.