Who Is At Fault in Truck Accidents? Company vs. Driver — Getting Compensation for California Truck Accidents

Categories: Personal Injury

The aftermath of a truck accident is overwhelming. The injuries you sustain can have devastating, lifelong consequences and astronomical medical bills. Whether you have insurance or not, you could be paying tens of thousands to cover the cost of medical care during a time when you should be able to focus on your recovery.

Are you faced with financial difficulties because of someone’s negligence? Hold them accountable and recover the money you’re owed.

Proving Negligence

How do you prove that the truck driver who caused your accident was negligent? With the help of an experienced truck accident attorney.

Your attorney will work to prove that either the driver or trucking company was negligent in some way. Maybe the fleet wasn’t properly maintained. Perhaps the driver was distracted. An experienced truck accident lawyer in San Luis Obispo will get to the heart of the matter.

Ernst Law Group is here if you have any questions about your truck accident injury claim or need assistance building a strong case. Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation now when you call (805)-541-0300 or contact us online.

Negligence isn’t the only thing you will have to prove in court. You will also have to show that your injuries were a direct result of the accident. Your attorney understands what evidence is necessary to build a solid case. While you can certainly file a lawsuit on your own, having an expert advocate in your corner improves your chances of a positive outcome tenfold.

Four Elements of a Successful Case

You know that your attorney must prove that the other driver was negligent, but what exactly does that look like? There are four elements needed to prove the legal concept of negligence. These elements are:

  1. Duty of Care. The truck driver must have had a duty of care. In other words, when they slipped into the driver’s seat and started their rig, they automatically accepted the responsibility in driving in such a way that no one would be harmed. Likewise, their employer has a duty to train the driver, vet their capabilities, and ensure they follow industry regulations.
  2. Breach of Duty. Next, your attorney will have to prove that the driver or the company failed to perform their work in a safe way. This occurs when the defendant breaks specific regulations or otherwise fails to exercise “ordinary care” in the way that a “reasonable person” might.
  3. Injury. The breach of duty must have caused your injuries. This means that you couldn’t have had a back injury before your accident. The accident must have directly led to your injuries.
  4. Damages. Many people are unaware that injuries must have led to damages. What this means is that you must have incurred medical bills or other losses as a result of your injuries.

Establishing Breach of Duty

In truck accident cases like yours, attorneys must work to prove that someone breached their duty of care.

In a truck accident, the breach of duty of care could have been on the part of the driver, the owner of the fleet, or even the manufacturer of the truck. There are a significant number of rules that drivers and fleet owners must follow, typically because of the sheer danger that trucks can pose on the roadways.

Common types of neglect in truck accidents include:
1. Hours of Service

Truck drivers are only permitted to drive for so many hours per day and week. Truckers must keep a logbook as required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Truckers are also expected to take breaks after a certain number of hours are driven. If the driver in your accident failed to comply with these regulations, they are negligent.
2. Weight Limits

Each type and size of truck is limited to the weight of the load it can carry safely. When a company or driver decides to forgo this required maximum weight and overload their trailer, they are negligent.

3. Maintenance Issues

It may be up to the driver to maintain their rig, or it could be up to the owner of the company to have routine maintenance performed across their fleet. No matter whose responsibility this is, when vehicles are not maintained properly, it is negligence.

Prove Fault with a San Luis Obispo Truck Accident Lawyer

How can we determine who is at fault in truck accidents? Through careful and precise investigative work.

At Ernst Law Group, we have been representing victims of San Luis Obispo truck accidents for years. We know what it takes to prove your case, and we are ready to fight for the compensation you deserve.

Whether you are wondering if the settlement offer made to you by an insurance company is fair or you are already planning on pursuing a case, your Ernst legal advocate can assist you in taking the appropriate next steps. We believe that knowledge is power, so call today to schedule your free case evaluation at (805) 678-0272.