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Los Angeles Truck Accident Attorneys

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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 vehicle manufacturer shares liability for the accident. The Los Angeles truck accident lawyers at BD&J 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 is ready to jump into action on your behalf.

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.

Determining Responsibility

Unlike a more common accident involving 2 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 trucking company for lack of training/regulations
  • A mechanic who failed to properly inspect the truck
  • The entity that leased 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 that 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 is 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 an inadequately maintained truck or trailer would leave the trucking company without fault.

Hire an Experienced 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. 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.

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