Given the large size of the trucks, the lengthy hours that drivers are
on the road and truck drivers’ willingness to disregard speed limits
in order to meet deadlines, it is no wonder that every 16 minutes, a truck
crash or collision occurs. Trucking accidents, namely those involving
big rigs, buses, and commercial vehicles, are often far more complicated
than non-commercial car accidents. Injuries are often more severe, the
question of fault may not be easily answered, and, there are usually more
parties involved than what you would find in an ordinary car accident.
For example, in addition to the truck driver having fault, sometimes the
government or car manufacturer shares liability for the accident. The
Los Angeles truck accident lawyers at BD&J, PC are used to taking
on the largest corporations involved in these cases and have the resources
necessary to obtain justice for their clients. If you or your loved one
were to find themselves in a semi-truck accident, BD&J, PC is ready
to jump into action on your behalf– the law firm with a track record
of great success in trucking accidents.
Reach out to our firm at (855) 906-3699 to schedule a free consultation today.
Truck Accident Statistics
The occurrence of trucking accidents has been steadily increasing for the
past 20 years. Trucking accidents now happen 20% more frequently than
they did just 2 decades ago, resulting in roughly 4,000 fatalities in
the United States each year. Although trucking accidents account for only
3% of all vehicular incidents in this country, commercial trucks are capable
of causing much greater harm than the typical passenger car.
Furthermore, according to a study published by the United States’
Department of Transportation in conjunction with the National Highway
Traffic Safety Administration, large semi-trucks were 23% more likely
to be involved in fatal multiple-vehicle accidents than passenger cars.
However, it is not always a simple task to identify the faulty party or parties.
Unlike a more common accident involving two
passenger cars, a trucking accident may find the liable party in a wide variety of places.
The following could all be partially responsible:
The driver of the car
The truck driver
The entity who leased the truck
The trucking company for lack of training/regulations
A mechanic who failed to properly inspect the truck
Moreover, it is also possible that the truck malfunctioned due to
faulty parts, in which case the manufacturer of those parts would be at fault. In accidents
involving a cargo load which has become dislodged, or when improper loading
contributed to the semi-truck accident, the loader or shipper may be found
liable. When attempting to determine liability, there is often a great
deal of contention between all potentially negligent parties, making for
an all but easy process.
Laws Regarding Trucking Accidents
There are federal laws and regulations in place that regulate the trucking
industry. These regulations set standards to which owners, drivers, and
trucking companies must adhere to be eligible to operate on public roadways.
The primary agencies governing trucking are the Department of Transportation
and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. These bodies work
in tandem to ensure every truck in operation is road-worthy and every
driver well prepared for the unique challenges of operating a commercial vehicle.
How Trucking Companies Try to Avoid Liability
In the process of determining fault, trucking companies often take certain
measures to shield themselves. One such measure involves the company distancing
itself from the driver, the truck, and any other potentially liable equipment
tied to the company. The trucking company usually tries to argue that,
though the truck bore its name, the vehicle was independently leased by
the driver. In this case, the driver was not technically its employee
at the time of the accident and therefore is solely responsible for any damages.
One way a trucking company may create a distance between itself and the
vehicle or equipment is by not purchasing the equipment under its name,
but requiring its drivers to purchase their own vehicles and trailers.
If the equipment is not owned by the company, maintenance, repairs, and
inspections are not within the scope of its responsibilities, but rather
the driver’s. Therefore, accidents resulting from a truck or trailer
inadequately maintained would leave the trucking company without fault.
Have an Experienced L.A. Truck Accident Lawyer
Trucking accidents are particularly dangerous because of the scope and
magnitude of crashes involving these commercial vehicles. If you have
been affected by a vehicle accident involving a big rig or other commercial
truck, contact the Los Angeles truck accident attorneys at BD&J, PC.
You can speak with one our firm members today about your case. Our lawyers
are skilled in assessing liability and assisting our clients in getting
the compensation they deserve.
We are ready to hear from you.
Call us today at (855) 906-3699 to begin. Initial consultations are always free.