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Proving Negligence After a California Truck Accident

— January 10, 2022

It’s important to note that multiple parties can be found liable for a truck accident.

Truck accidents can prove to be more serious and involve more factors than a regular car accident. Proving liability and negligence takes different steps than a car accident. What’s more, proving this in California is another factor to consider as it is a comparative liability state, meaning the at-fault driver may also be able to file a claim for damages regardless of fault. Below we explain how negligence is proved in a California truck accident. 

Determining Liability

It’s important to note that multiple parties can be found liable for a truck accident. The trucking company, truck manufacturer, and truck driver can all be held liable. Furthermore, the injured driver may also be found partially liable. In essence, liability will be determined by the degree of negligence of the individual party. The more liability, the less damages an individual will be entitled to.

Again, even the at-fault driver can file an injury lawsuit for damages, and according to the Riverside truck accident attorneys at Bentley & More LLP, the trucking company will most likely be found liable for most truck accidents.

California’s Negligence Law

A driver who suffered injuries at the hands of a negligent truck driver is entitled to file a personal injury suit. But, the truck driver’s negligence has to be proved and that it was the main reason that caused the accident.

In California, there are three factors for determining negligence in a truck accident:

  1. The truck driver owed a duty of care.
  2. The truck driver breached this duty of care.
  3. The breach of duty of care was the primary reason for the collision and thus the victim’s damages and losses.

A duty of care is a requirement of all drivers to use caution while operating a vehicle.

Anywhere there’s traffic, people have accidents. A combination of signals and data can make dangerous intersections safer, if budgets and federal law allow. Photo by Rian Castillo, via Flickr.

Truck driver negligence may include: 

  • Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Distracted driving
  • Speeding
  • Dangerous lane changes
  • Not yielding, and more.

Trucking company negligence may include:

  • Poor training for truck drivers
  • Overloading trailers
  • Lack of proper maintenance of trucks
  • Allowing drivers to forego hour restrictions
  • Allowing unbalanced cargo, and more.

California’s Strict Liability Law

Another factor of a truck accident can be strict liability. Negligence is not used to determine liability in a strict liability case. According to strict liability, the trucking company, truck designer, and truck manufacturer can be held liable if the collision was the cause of a defective product or part. This could include: faulty brakes, tires, engine, or cargo straps. In a strict liability case, the accident victim may be able to recover damages from multiple sources. 

More Information About California Truck Accidents

After being involved in any type of accident it’s best to consult with an attorney. Making sure you get the compensation and justice you deserve is important, and navigating the legal process can be complicated. For more information on California truck accidents, reach out to the legal team at Bentley & More LLP. They offer free consultations and can help you through every step of the litigation process. 

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