When truck drivers are in a motor vehicle crash, they may be subject to several different penalties. If they were determined to be driving recklessly or under the influence, they may be prosecuted, fined, have their license suspended, or be required to take a special driving course. Even when the truck driver was not at fault, they may still be required to take a drug and alcohol test.
Long-haul truck drivers travel over 300 billion miles in the US every year. This frequency of travel, together with the current truck driver shortage, means that millions of overworked and overtired truckers are on the road every day.
Truck accidents are all too common in California. According to the most recent data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, California had the most truck collisions of any state in the US in 2017. The state also saw the second most fatal truck accidents of any US state.
There are a number of contributing factors that make California truck accidents so common. First, the state has a large number of trucks on the road. Second, the state has a lot of traffic congestion, which can lead to accidents. And finally, as anyone who drives in California knows, our beautiful scenery comes at the cost of hazardous driving conditions with lots of hills and curves, making it challenging for trucks to stay on the road.
If you’re a truck driver in California or share the road with trucks, it’s important to be hypervigilant in regard to California’s unique truck accident risks.
Truck Accident Liability: Who May Be Liable?
The Truck Driver
The truck driver may be liable if they were driving recklessly, under the influence, or violating traffic laws.
The Trucking Company
The trucking company may be liable if they failed to maintain the truck properly or if they did not properly screen the driver. Similarly, the company that loaded the truck may be liable if the load was not properly secured.
The Truck Manufacturer
The manufacturer of the truck might be liable if there was a defect in the truck that caused the accident.
Compared with other motor vehicle collisions, truck accidents tend to result in bigger insurance policy payouts, more property damage and medical bills, and an increased chance of death.
No matter who is liable for the truck accident, gathering evidence after the crash is crucial for all parties involved. Be careful not to just jot down the trucking company’s name and move on. If at all possible, try to secure this information:
Contacts of the drivers involved and, if relevant, their commercial driver’s licenses.
The other party’s insurance company and policy number.
The name of the trucking industry and how to contact them directly.
Contact information for any witnesses.
Regardless of what information you were able to collect at the scene, a San Diego truck accident attorney can help you build a solid case for all of your losses. Retaining a lawyer as soon as possible will make it easier to receive the compensation you deserve.
If you’ve been involved in a truck accident, speak for free with a San Diego personal injury lawyer who can help you get your life back on track. Contact us today for a no-cost consultation.