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Determining Who is at Fault for a Truck Accident

 Posted on January 29,2016 in Truck Accidents

truck accident, liability, San Jose truck accident lawyerTruck accidents have the potential to cause catastrophic injury and harm. Of course, most trucks are operated safely, but due to their size and cargo, when a truck is in an accident, occupants of other vehicles are more likely to be permanently injured, or even killed. The true cause of a truck accident, however, is not always immediately apparent.

Causes of Truck Accidents

Common causes of truck accidents include:

  • Driver fatigue;
  • Distractions to the drive, including cell phone use;
  • Excessive speed;
  • Impairment due to alcohol or drugs;
  • Improperly loaded cargo; and
  • Poorly maintained truck and equipment

While some of these causes are the responsibility of the truck driver, the company that employs the driver or owns the truck may also be responsible for the conditions that lead to truck accidents. Before the exact cause can be determined, an experienced truck accident lawyer should evaluate the case.

Trucking Company Responsibility

A trucking company or transport carrier may be fully or partially responsible for a truck accident. Some common ways trucking companies contribute to poor truck safety include:

  • Encouraging employees to ignore federal rest rules, or tolerating such actions by drivers;
  • Not following safety protocols when loading a truck
  • Loading a truck in excess of known road weight limits
  • Hiring drivers with poor safety records
  • Failure to properly maintain the brakes, lights, and tires of the truck

Why It Matters

Under California law, when someone’s negligent actions cause you an injury, you have a right to seek compensation for your injuries. When an employee of a trucking company injures you, may also seek compensation from the company. Often, the company has an insurance policy intended to cover damages caused by the driver. 

However, that compensation may not be enough to pay for your damages. When the company itself has shown a pattern and practice of acting negligently, you may also be able to seek additional damages. In some cases you may be able to seek punitive damages from the trucking company. These damages are designed to do more than just compensate you. They are also designed to punish the company and encourage the trucking company, and others in the industry, to pay more attention to safety. Punitive damages are not available in every case.

Understanding the true causes of a truck accident and knowing who is responsible can make a big impact in the amount you are able to recover in a personal injury claim. If you were injured in a truck accident, you need to speak with a knowledgeable San Jose truck accident lawyer right away. Call the Law Office of John J. Garvey, III today at 408-293-7777 to schedule a consultation. You may only have a short period of time to protect your rights.



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