The United States depends on the trucking industry to keep the economy flowing smoothly, but this industry is also a dangerous one, especially in California. The state of California is listed in the top 10 American states with the highest average of fatal and large truck and bus crashes. A truck accident in California is much more serious than a standard car collision because the injuries and personal damages are often much more severe.
California is not a no-fault state, and this complicates things further. Determining who is at fault in a trucking accident can be tricky. However, a good trucking accident lawyer will tell you that this doesn’t mean that you won’t be compensated for your damages, even if you were at fault. Learn more about the fault in a California trucking accident here, and keep these notes handy.
What are the Most Common Causes of Truck Accidents?
It is easy to assume the driver is at fault in an accident where a larger vehicle is involved, but that just isn’t always the case. When the driver is at fault, these are the most common causes of trucking accidents:
- Distracted driving
Drinking and driving do sometimes happen, but it is not among the most common causes of trucking accidents in California.
The most common causes of trucking accidents when the driver isn’t at fault are the following:
- Poor training
- Poorly maintained vehicle
- Road conditions
- Weather conditions
- Defective tires
- Failure to inspect the truck before driver leaves
- Improper cargo loading
What California’s At-Fault Laws Really Mean
It is always best to leave it to the police to determine who is at fault in a car accident. Your insurance company won’t be on the scene, and can’t decide this for any party in your claim. File a report with the California Highway Patrol and document as much as you can as early as you can. This is going to be a key document in your claim when it comes to determining fault.
Determining who is at fault in the accident could be the most important thing that happens in your life right now. You might face charges if you are blamed, you could lose your job, and you might not get the compensation you deserve.
After the police have investigated your accident, you will be hearing the phrase “pure comparative negligence” from your trucking accident lawyer. What this means is that California uses this rule of law to determine who is the most financially responsible for a trucking accident. What it means is that the party with the most blame in an accident will be the party that pays the most in damages.
Pure comparative negligence is determined by a percentage and is often determined by a judge or jury. So if you are found to be at 10 percent fault for example, and the other party at 90 percent and a settlement is determined at 1 million dollars, you will get 90 percent of that settlement while the other party gets 10 percent.
This is why establishing fault in the accident is important as early as possible.
Establish Fault in a Trucking Accident
You can’t make things up when you have been involved in an accident, and a good trucking accident lawyer will know exactly what to do with the facts presented to them. In order to show that you were not at fault, you will need to show that you performed your duty of care and the other driver didn’t. You’ll also need to show the driver breached their own duties to cause the accident.
It’s easier than you think when you have a lawyer on board. Contact a trucking accident lawyer as soon as you can after your trucking accident, to take some of these details off of your mind as quickly as possible.