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How Do You Prove a Truck Driver’s Negligence After an Accident?

Truck driver negligence comes in many different forms, but it always has the potential to cause catastrophic accidents for average motorists. Trucks are heavier and more sluggish compared to passenger vehicles, and they may struggle with exceptionally slow braking. In addition, they often carry dangerous cargo. With all that said, even the most dangerous and poorly maintained trucks can be safe if they are operated by responsible drivers. On the other hand, a brief act of negligence behind the wheel of a truck can make the most advanced safety features useless. What can you do if you have been injured by a truck driver, and how can you prove that their negligence led directly to your crash?

Truck Driver’s Negligence

The Elements of Negligence

In order to establish negligence, you must show that four factors exist:

  • Duty of Care: The first step is to show that the defendant owed you a duty of care. In other words, they had a legal responsibility to behave in a safe manner and avoid causing other people to suffer injuries.
  • Breach of Duty: The next step is to show that the defendant breached this duty of care in some way. In other words, they failed to act in a safe manner.
  • Causation: Next, you must show that this failure led directly to your injuries. In other words, you need to establish a “causational link” between the defendant’s wrongdoing and your injuries.
  • Injuries: finally, you must show that the defendant’s actions (or inactions) caused you to suffer real, documentable injuries.

How Do I Establish the Negligence of a Truck Driver?

Establishing the negligence of a truck driver might follow this general process:

  • First, you would establish that the truck driver owed you a duty of care, arguing that by using a public road, they were expected to use a reasonable amount of care, respect the traffic regulations, and avoid causing accidents.
  • Second, you would point to specific acts of misconduct committed by the truck driver. You might need to provide evidence to help establish that these acts (or inactions) actually took place.
  • Third, you would show that this misconduct led directly to your accident. You might argue that if the truck driver had not committed this misconduct, your accident would have never happened.
  • Finally, you would provide evidence of your injuries. You might do this by showing relevant parties your medical records, medical images, and doctors’ notes. This evidence should establish that you have suffered real injuries as a result of the crash.

Examples of Truck Negligence

Here are some examples of trucker negligence:

  • Intoxication: Perhaps the most obvious form of trucker negligence is also one of the most common: Intoxication. It is no secret that many truckers become intoxicated behind the wheel. Some take illicit drugs and stimulants to stay awake for long periods. These drugs may cause truckers to become erratic or aggressive while slowing their reflexes. Drinking and driving is also relatively common among truckers.
  • Distraction: Truckers often struggle with the monotony of long hauls, and they may address their boredom with dangerous distractions. Distracted driving might involve texting, eating, reading, watching videos, and much more.
  • Traffic Violations: Traffic violations are clear examples of negligence. Examples include speeding, reckless driving, road rage incidents, illegal turns, failure to properly merge, parking in an unsafe location, and much more.
  • Failure to Maintain the Vehicle: Some trucking companies fail to properly inspect and maintain their fleets of trucks. This can lead to dangerous mechanical failures such as brake failure, tire failure, and much more.
  • Driving Too Many Hours without Breaks: Truckers are legally required to take breaks after driving for a certain number of hours. Drowsy driving can easily lead to crashes, and in many cases, it is even more dangerous than drinking and driving.
  • Driving in Unsafe Conditions: Truckers are also legally required to pull over and stop if road conditions become unsafe. Examples include heavy rain, heavy winds, snow, ice, fog, and anything else that impedes a trucker’s ability to drive safely.
  • Dangerous Cargo: Finally, trucking companies may negligently pack or secure cargo. This cargo might become dislodged mid-journey, impacting other vehicles and causing serious accidents.

Find a Truck Accident Attorney

If you have been injured by a truck accident, your best bet is to get in touch with a qualified injury attorney at your earliest convenience. Choose the Personal Injury Legal Group to immediately start discussing the best way to collect evidence of negligence. Each case is slightly different, and online research cannot help you determine the type of evidence that might be useful based on your unique situation. During a consultation, you can determine the most appropriate course of legal action alongside a legal professional. Contact Personal Injury Legal Group today to begin the discussion.

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If you were partially at fault for the injury, it may still be possible to recover compensation for your damages. California follows a comparative fault system, which means that your compensation award may be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to you.

In California, there is no specific time limit for seeking medical treatment. It is important to seek medical treatment as soon as possible after an accident, even if you do not feel any pain or discomfort right away. Delaying medical treatment can not only harm your health, but it can also weaken your personal injury claim.

Even if your accident was minor, it is still a good idea to consult with a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer. A lawyer can advise you on your legal rights and options, and help you determine if you are entitled to compensation for your injuries, even in cases that appear minor at first glance.

If you forgot to file a police report after your accident in California, it may still be possible to pursue a personal injury claim. However, it can be more difficult to prove your case without a police report, and the lack of a report could be used against you by the insurance company or the other party. It is always best to file a police report as soon as possible after an accident to protect your legal rights.

After an accident, it is important to collect as much evidence as possible to support your claim. This can include taking photos of the scene of the accident and any damage to vehicles or property, getting contact information for any witnesses, and seeking medical attention for any injuries you sustained. It is also important to keep track of any expenses related to the accident, such as medical bills and lost wages.

Yes, you can still receive compensation for your injuries even if you have a pre-existing condition. However, the compensation amount may be affected by the pre-existing condition, and it can depend on various factors such as the severity of the pre-existing condition and how it relates to the current injury.

It is recommended that you consult with an attorney before accepting a settlement offer from your insurance company. An attorney can review the offer and advise you on whether it is fair and reasonable based on your specific situation.

Your Los Angeles attorney may need various information and documents from you, such as medical records, police reports, witness statements, and any other evidence related to your case. It is important to provide your attorney with all the information and documentation they need to build a strong case on your behalf.

The time it takes to receive compensation for your injuries in California can vary depending on various factors such as the complexity of your case, the amount of compensation sought, and whether the case goes to trial or is settled outside of court. Generally, it can take several months or even years to receive compensation in a personal injury case.