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3 Unforgettable Things You Need to Know About Truck Accidents in California 

Posted in Truck Accidents,Car Accident,Personal Injury on May 5, 2018

Accidents involving commercial motor vehicles like semi trucks, big rigs, and delivery vans are often devastating. Motorists often incur serious or permanently incapacitating injuries. Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), spinal cord injuries, paralysis, amputations, and serious burns are possible effects of these crashes. Even minor or low-speed crashes between a commercial motor vehicle and a passenger vehicle can lead to serious and lifelong ramifications.

Unfortunately, truck accidents in California are more common than you might think. According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there are around 300 fatalities in California from truck accidents each year, and many more reported injuries.

We hope that you never have to worry about truck accidents in California. However, if you do ever find yourself in the position of needing legal assistance, there are a few things you need to know about truck accident claims:

  1. You Might Have to File Claims Against Multiple Parties

Truck accident claims are often complex legal processes that require multiple claims against different parties. Determining liability in a truck accident can be difficult and often requires a thorough investigation, not only by the insurance company but also an attorney and even the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The following parties may be to blame for a truck accident:

  • The driver. Driver behavior often plays a role in truck accidents, but whether the driver is solely liable for that behavior depends on the circumstances. For example, while drivers may have to follow certain regulations regarding breaks and duty hours, they may break the rules in order to meet an employer deadline.
  • The driver’s employer. An employer may be responsible for negligent hiring or even expecting too much from their driver. While many companies try to avoid liability by hiring drivers as independent contractors, they are often employees in the eyes of the law.
  • The manufacturer of the vehicle. In cases involving malfunctioning equipment, the truck’s manufacturer or the team responsible for maintenance may share liability.
  • The loading team. Some truck accidents result from improper loading of cargo. When unbalanced loads contribute to an accident, you may have a claim against the company who loaded the truck.
  1. Can Truck Accident Litigation Be Lengthy?

Since multiple parties often share the liability for a truck accident, pursuing claims against these parties can take longer than other motor vehicle accident claims. Often, the liable parties fight one another about their percentage of liability in a crash. When traditional insurance negotiations come to a halt, the case must go to trial. It’s more common for truck accident cases to result in a trial than a traditional car accident.

  1. You Will Need Professional LegalHelp

Not all car accidents require the assistance of an attorney. When collisions involve little more than property damage or even minor injury, you can often settle the claim with an at-fault party’s insurance company, without an attorney’s assistance. Truck accidents, on the other hand, are a different story. You will likely need an attorney to defend your rights as you go up against companies with insurers who want to pay out as little on your claim as possible.

Truck accidents wreak devastation on your property and often lead to serious injuries. These crashes occur by the hundred in California each year, and are often the result of negligence by multiple parties. If you ever find yourself the victim of a truck accident, these are the most important things you need to know about liability, possible litigation, and how to proceed with your personal injury claim. These claims are lengthy, complex, and often require an attorney’s assistance.

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