Truck Accident Liability
While most people only consider truck accidents to be inconvenient during their morning commute, the truth of the matter is that automobile accidents involving large trucks are seldom minor incidents. Flipped tractor-trailers and other large vehicles often cause accidents involving multiple passenger vehicles and serious injuries. If you or a loved one were injured in a truck accident, you may be entitled to damages for your injuries and other losses. We here at the Law Offices of William C. Bibb have handled hundreds of serious accident cases involving large and commercial trucks, and are well-versed in the complexities of proving liability against truck drivers and trucking companies in California.
Statute of Limitations
California Code of Civil Procedure section 335.1 establishes a time limit of "two years" for actions such as assault, battery, injury, or death to or on a person caused by the wrongful act of another person. This statute of limitations typically applies to automobile accidents and motorcycle accidents as well, but does not apply to every case. Time restrictions for pursuing legal action in truck accident liability cases can depend upon several factors. That is why it is so important to consult with an experienced attorney as early as possible following your accident incident, to ensure that you retain your legal right to pursue damages.
Negligence in California Trucking Accidents
Even though many of the same factors in standard car accidents can and do come into play in many truck accidents, a number of other characteristics are unique to accident incidents involving large trucks. Effectively identifying these unique factors and proving liability is key to achieving the settlement or trial verdict that you deserve. Illustrating negligence or failure to adhere to a reasonable standard of care on the part of the truck driver or trucking company often lies in the factors described below.
* Improper vehicle maintenance: Truck drivers and trucking companies must abide by strict standards and policies regarding the care and maintenance of their vehicles. Failing to adhere to these safety standards can cause serious accidents on the road.
* Truck Driver fatigue: State and federal guidelines regulate truck driver working hours and rest periods in order to prevent driver fatigue. Truck drivers are required to log their periods and driving and rest each and every time they are on the road. Failing to accurately document their rest periods and/or drive outside of their allotted shifts is considered a major breach in the standard of care.
* Excessive speeds: Safely operating large trucks not only involves abiding by posted speed limits but also taking special precautions to account for vehicle weight and braking capabilities. Exceeding the posted speed limit and/or using excessive speeds for road conditions is incredibly dangerous and negligent.
* Improper cargo maintenance: Truck cargo and towing equipment must be properly maintained at all times to avoid unsafe conditions for traveling.
Truck Accident Damages
Many of the damages that are awarded in truck accident tort cases are similar to those that are awarded in other personal injury cases; however, the nature and severity of some truck accidents do allow for more significant damages in some instances. Beyond that, some truck liability cases are impacted by the fact that trucking companies can be identified as defendants.