Many people are injured or killed each year as a result of a truck accident. When a commercial vehicle hits a smaller vehicle or rolls over on the highway, the consequences may be devastating. Even if a truck driver walks away relatively unscathed, pedestrians or people in cars or on motorcycles may be killed, due to the weight and size of the truck. If you are hurt or a loved one is killed by a careless truck driver, the Sacramento truck accident lawyers at Travis G. Black & Associates may be able to help you recover compensation for your losses. From our Folsom office, we represent California residents who need an injury attorney to assert their rights.Establishing Liability After a Truck Accident
Truck accidents often result from a driver's negligence. It is difficult to operate a piece of heavy machinery safely, and there are many laws and regulations that drivers must follow to avoid injuring others. These include rules about hours of service, keeping logbooks, and maintaining the truck. If a truck driver violates any of the rules related to safety, it may be possible to sue for negligence per se (negligence as a matter of law).
A plaintiff can potentially recover compensation under negligence per se if a driver violates a safety law that is designed to protect against the type of injury suffered by the plaintiff, and the plaintiff is a member of the class that the law is intended to protect. Generally, negligence per se is more favorable to plaintiffs than ordinary negligence because the law establishes the standard of care, leaving damages as the main contested element. It is important to retain a truck accident attorney who has experience in these types of cases so that the attorney can identify any violation that may have occurred.
An individual truck driver's insurance policy may not have sufficient coverage for all of the injuries sustained in a truck accident, particularly when there are many victims. You may also be able to turn to the truck driver's employer to recover damages. Under the doctrine of vicarious liability, an employer may be held indirectly liable if an employee was in the course and scope of employment while committing the negligent acts or omissions that resulted in injuries.
An employer may also be held directly liable. Federal and state laws regulate trucking companies as well as drivers. If a trucking company fails to follow the rules related to hiring or overseeing the work of a truck driver, it may be directly liable under theories of negligent hiring, training, or supervision. These theories require you to establish that the trucking company was independently negligent. For example, if a trucking company fails to conduct a background check that would have revealed that the driver was an alcoholic with multiple DUIs, and his drunk driving is the cause of an accident, you may be able to hold the trucking company responsible. Usually, trucking companies have more insurance coverage than individual drivers, so establishing their liability may be crucial in recovering the full scope of your damages.Consult an Experienced Truck Accident Lawyer in the Sacramento Area
Sacramento truck accident attorney Travis G. Black worked for the insurance industry before establishing his own firm in Folsom. He now uses his knowledge of this industry in service of his clients. Our firm offers perceptive legal counsel and works diligently on behalf of accident victims. Contact us online or call Travis G. Black & Associates at 916-962-2896 for a free consultation with a motor vehicle collision attorney.