The Bakersfield truck accident lawyers at The Law Offices of Mickey Fine have spent more than two decades helping injured victims pursue compensation. We know that cases involving large commercial vehicles can be far more complex than typical claims involving passenger vehicles.
Trucking is a booming industry worth billions of dollars. These tractor-trailers haul everything from fresh produce and live animals to deconstructed homes and large construction equipment. These massive vehicles are bound to cause catastrophic injuries and death in a collision with a non-commercial car, putting a high dollar amount on most truck accident claims. These cases are some of the most complex personal injury lawsuits and often involve multiple parties.
Multiple Parties May Share Liability
Liability is not as straightforward in a truck accident as it is with two passenger vehicles colliding. Several people or companies may be legally responsible for the injuries and other losses from the crash. The truck driver may have driven over the legal allotment of hours and been fatigued when the truck accident happened. The trailer owner may also be liable, such as giving the driver financial incentives to break the law. A cargo loader could be involved if the tractor-trailer was improperly secured, underloaded, or overloaded.
The truck’s manufacturer or parts manufacturers could be held accountable if the crash was caused or worsened by a defective product or design flaw. Even government officials or independent contractors may share responsibility for an improperly designed highway or poor maintenance that led to the truck accident.
Any of these parties can share the blame in a truck accident case, making the legal process more challenging because of multiple claims.
Several Factors May Have Contributed to the Truck Accident
Any number of things can go wrong with an 18-wheeler on U.S. roadways. Road conditions, driver negligence, and countless other factors may come into play. Driver-related causes can include drug use, speeding, taking a curve too fast, improper turns, and driver fatigue.
Equipment problems, such as malfunctioning mechanisms, could have caused or contributed to the severity of the truck accident. These concerns may be linked to the trucking company or truck owner, such as depowering or removing the front brakes to reduce wear and tear and lower replacement costs—a failure to maintain the brakes and tires and defective steering increase the odds of a crash.
Weather conditions, faulty road design, and broken traffic signals often contribute to these crashes. Truck accident cases are complex because many people and legal claims are involved, and these details need to be thoroughly investigated to find the cause and all liable parties.
Multiple Insurance Companies May Be Involved
Each liable person or entity has an individual claim and each victim. Truck accidents can involve multiple vehicles and may seriously injure a dozen or more people, which means several insurance companies may be involved in the case. Each insurer has specific policies and protocols for truck accidents and does not have the injured party’s best interests in mind. They want to pay as little as possible (or nothing at all) for the accident and will work to discredit the claim. A Bakersfield truck accident lawyer is beneficial for these claims because they know the tactics these representatives use to reach a low settlement or deny the claim.
Damages May Be Extensive
Truck accidents are more likely to cause death and catastrophic injuries, including traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, burns, and amputations. The fallout of these injuries is physical, psychological, and financial, as many people must learn how to live life with a disability after a truck accident. The compensation in these claims tends to be significantly high as it encompasses the lifelong impact and burden of the truck accident injury.
Truck accident claims can involve economic, non-economic, and punitive damages. Economic losses are measurable monetary damages, such as medical bills, rehabilitation expenses, lost wages or earnings, and property damage. Non-economic losses are more subjective and include pain and stuffing, loss of enjoyment of life, mental anguish, and disfigurement. Truck accident victims pursue both avenues because of the permanent nature of the physical and psychological trauma.
If the driver, trucking company, or manufacturer did something especially egregious to cause the accident, the court might award punitive damages to punish them for their role and prevent future bad faith acts.
The Trucking Industry is Governed by National and State Regulations
Trucking laws may vary by state, but federal regulations apply across the U.S., and they involve how much a tractor-trailer can haul with a maximum weight, how long a driver can drive without mandating rest, and other stipulations. In commercial truck accidents, a federal, state, or local law was likely broken and proving a law violation improves the injured victim’s chances of securing a settlement for all damages. These laws also require a higher insurance coverage amount than non-commercial drivers to ensure compensation for people injured in a truck accident.
The Trucking Company Will Fight Vigorously Against You
Trucking representatives can be ruthless after a crash and may have accident investigators on the scene within hours. They may try to conceal logbooks and digital data that may damage the case against the driver or company. The trucking company may delay the claims process to try and run out the clock on California’s two-year statute of limitations for truck accidents. They may make it nearly impossible to speak with them, and their insurance adjusters may fabricate deadlines or demand medical records and an official statement (which is not required and you should not do).
Trucking companies and insurers often offer a low settlement, refuse to negotiate, or dispute liability, making the injured victim take them to court and lengthening the claims process.
If you or a loved one was injured in a truck accident, contact The Law Offices of Mickey Fine for help and pursue maximum compensation. Acting quickly after a truck accident is critical to documenting evidence and building your claim.
Call our Bakersfield truck accident lawyer for FREE at (661) 333-3333 to discuss your case.