All truck drivers must have a commercial license, operate their vehicles in a safe manner, and obey all state and federal safety rules. Truckers are subject to stricter regulations than most drivers because truck crashes are often so much more serious than collisions involving passenger vehicles. Unfortunately, sometimes truckers fail to follow all the rules and accidents happen.
When a truck accident occurs, it is essential to determine who is at fault. Injured accident victims deserve to be compensated by those who were to blame for the accident. Identifying who was responsible for the truck accident is the key to making that happen.
Identifying Defendants Responsible for Paying Damages After a Truck Crash
In a truck accident case there may be more than one defendant. Identifying all parties who may be at fault in a truck accident case is important in order to maximize the victim’s chances of receiving full compensation. A truck driver who causes a crash may not have enough money or insurance coverage to fully pay for all the victim’s losses. If the negligence of other individuals and/or companies contributed to the occurrence of the accident, legal action can be taken against them as well.
Some potential defendants a truck accident victim, or his or her family, may be able to file a personal injury or wrongful death claim against include:
- The truck driver – The driver is at fault if his or her carelessness was a direct cause of the collision or if he or she disobeyed a safety law and that legal lapse was the direct cause of the accident.
- The trucking company – Companies are responsible for their own negligence and for the negligence of on-duty workers. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration mandates most commercial trucking companies have a minimum of $750,000 in liability insurance to pay for truck accident victims’ losses. When a trucking company transports hazardous materials, the minimum coverage may be as much as $5 million.
- The truck manufacturer – If a defect with the vehicle is the cause of a truck accident, the truck manufacturer may be held accountable. Crash victims can make a product liability claim.
- A truck mechanic – Those responsible for maintaining the truck can be held accountable if their negligence leads to a malfunction and a crash occurs as a result.
Others who may be legally responsible for a truck accident victim’s damages include the designers of roads, and those in charge of road maintenance. The circumstances surrounding an accident will determine who will bear legal responsibility.
Determining Who is at Fault in Truck Accident Cases in Long Beach
Many types of evidence are used to determine who is at fault in truck accident cases in Long Beach including:
- Police reports from the crash scene
- Records from the trucker or trucking company, including maintenance records and driver logs
- Eyewitness testimony from those who observed the crash
- Black box data if the truck was equipped with a black box that recorded driver actions
- Expert testimony from accident reconstruction specialists
After a crash, an investigation should be launched to determine who is at fault in truck accident cases. Victims who wish to make a personal injury or wrongful death claim have the legal burden of proving the defendant was at fault. Victims should begin as soon as possible in gathering the evidence they need to prove their case.
Contact a Long Beach Trucking Accident Lawyer For Help Determining Fault
A Long Beach truck accident lawyer can help with a truck crash investigation, with identifying defendants, and with pursuing a claim against those responsible for a crash.
Call the Law Office of Michael D. Waks at 888-394-1174 or use the convenient online contact form to schedule a free consultation. You are under no obligation and you will never pay any money unless you recover damages for your injuries. I offer bilingual services as part of my comprehensive approach to legal representation and I am available 24/7 to talk to you about your case.
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