Semis, 18-wheelers, big-rigs, and other large commercial trucks deliver the essential goods and materials that keep the country's vital industries going. Unfortunately, they're also involved in a significant number of devastating—or even deadly—accidents each year. If you were hurt or lost a loved one in a California truck crash you didn't cause, you may be entitled to compensation for your related injuries and losses—and the truck driver may not be the only party who can be held responsible.
Not only are employers liable for unintentional negligent acts committed by their employees in the "course and scope" of their job, but there are a number of ways that trucking companies themselves can cause or contribute to truck accidents. Here's what you need to know about the most common types of trucking company negligence that can lead to crashes and how our skilled personal injury attorneys can help you fight for a fair financial recovery.
Poor Screening, Hiring, and Training Practices
Trucking companies have a duty to ensure that their drivers are qualified, safe, and well-trained. To that end, hiring processes should screen applicants to make sure that they have the appropriate commercial driver license (CDL), as well as a driving history that's free of convictions for reckless, drunk, or drug-related driving offenses. Once hired, drivers should receive thorough training in proper driving techniques (including defensive driving skills) and safety procedures.
When trucking companies fail to adequately screen applicants and train newly hired drivers, they may face liability for damages caused by the unsafe truckers who work for them.
Failure to Supervise
Trucking employers also have a responsibility to supervise the employees who drive their trucks, including making sure that they follow applicable state and federal trucking regulations, and internal company safety protocols. Otherwise, they may share in liability for truck accident damages such as medical expenses, lost wages, and other losses.
Unrealistic Schedules and Expectations
Heightened demand may lead trucking companies to impose unrealistic schedules or expectations on drivers, which can cause truckers to drive faster and less carefully, while fatigued, or without sufficient breaks. Compensation or other bonuses offered by trucking companies to drivers for completing jobs ahead of schedule can add to the problem, further increasing the risk of a serious truck crash.
Inadequate Maintenance and Lack of Necessary Safety Equipment
Commercial trucks are often massive, as is their potential to cause catastrophic damages when involved in accidents with smaller and much lighter passenger vehicles. It's crucial for companies to perform regular inspections and maintenance on the trucks in their fleet to ensure that they're safe and roadworthy. Trucks should also be equipped with appropriate safety equipment, including a fully charged fire extinguisher and red emergency reflectors.
Seeking Compensation for a California Truck Crash
After a truck accident, you may find yourself seriously injured, unable to work, and faced with mounting medical and household debt. Though your financial and non-economic losses may be significant, you can't count on an at-fault trucking company and their insurance company to compensate you fairly without a fight. Fortunately, our injury recovery professionals can investigate your crash and build a strong case for damages. You may be able to collect a settlement or monetary award for medical expenses, property damages, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, physical pain and suffering, mental and emotional anguish, and other losses.
Let Us Handle Your Truck Accident Claim
At the Inland Empire Law Group, our accomplished truck accident attorneys help crash victims protect their rights and achieve their legal goals. Contact us today at (888) 694-3529 to schedule an appointment for a free initial consultation to discuss the details of your case. Don't wait—California law limits how long you have to file a lawsuit. If you fail to take action within two years of the date of the truck crash, you will lose the right to pursue a legal remedy. Let us take the reins of your case and get to work on your behalf.