While in classic tales of large versus small, the small often wins, this is not always the case when it comes to a commercial truck versus a compact car in a motor vehicle accident. Commercial trucks, fully loaded, can weigh up to 26 times what the average passenger vehicle weighs. This sheer differential in weigh may account for much devastation in a truck-car highway accident, which often includes serious injuries or death.
Recently, on Interstate 5, two people were hurt when their car crashed into a big rig. The driver of the car lost control, and traveled across the median and lanes moving in the opposite direction before crashing into a fence. Both of the people inside the car were injured and were taken to a local hospital -- the passenger experienced serious injuries, while the driver's injuries were minor.
When someone is injured in a motor vehicle accident, it is important to look at many factors to determine who the responsible party is. Under negligence theory, if a driver failed to meet the required level of reasonable care, and that failure caused injury to another person, that driver may be liable for damages. Generally, all drivers must adhere to the posted speed limit and other traffic signs and use proper turn signals. Additionally, drivers must pay attention to their surroundings and adjust their driving accordingly, such as when there is bad weather or poor road conditions.
Where the driver of the car caused for the accident due to negligence, liability may be clear. However, when a commercial truck is involved, and the truck driver caused the accident, liability can fall on several different parties, including the driver individually, the driver's employer or even the shipper of the cargo in certain circumstances.
Source: Los Banos Enterprise, "Two hurt in truck vs. car crash," July 26, 2013
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