Commercial vehicles perform an important role in the economy, and the operation of these trucks is regulated at both the state and federal levels. If a truck accident occurs, it is often devastating to people in smaller vehicles, due to the weight and size of the truck. Truck drivers need to be trained in how to drive safely, and they must follow the regulations promulgated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), as well as state and local laws. Los Angeles truck accident lawyer Devin Sawdayi can represent people who have been struck by a careless trucker. If you are pursuing compensation from a driver or trucking company, enlisting an injury attorney may be vital in asserting your rights.Establishing Liability for a Truck Accident
Understanding the state and federal laws applicable to trucks and the trucking industry is critical in a truck accident case. Often, it is a violation of these rules that causes an accident. The violation may constitute a breach of the duty of care, or it may allow you to bring your claim under the doctrine of negligence per se (negligence as a matter of law). For negligence as a matter of law to apply, you will need to establish that there was a violation of a safety law, the accident was caused by the violation, the safety law was enacted to prevent against the type of accident in which you were hurt, and you are a member of the class that the law was designed to protect. In cases in which negligence per se is applied, the biggest point of contention may be the damages.
Even if your claim is not based on negligence per se, you may be able to establish the driver's negligence. Generally, a driver's employer can also be held indirectly or vicariously liable for a driver's negligence in the course and scope of employment. This means that if the driver's actions on the job are negligent, the employer is also liable for damages.
Sometimes an employer's own negligence is the legal cause of an accident. Trucking employers owe a duty to the public not to put untrained or dangerous drivers on the road. They are supposed to conduct background checks and properly supervise their drivers to make sure the drivers are able to handle commercial trucks safely. They are also supposed to make sure drivers follow federal and state laws as applicable. This includes training them on how to load cargo and how to handle a jackknife accident, as well as monitoring them for drug or alcohol use.
Drivers are expected to keep a logbook of their hours worked, and their employers are supposed to make sure that these logbooks are factually accurate and that drivers are not violating the hours of service rules. Unfortunately, many trucking companies look the other way or even encourage their drivers to violate these rules in the name of profit. In cases in which a fatigued driver causes an accident, the trucking company may be directly liable for negligence. Trucking companies usually have better coverage for accidents than do individual drivers, so if they are proven directly liable for an accident, this can improve a plaintiff's chances of recovering the full scope of their damages.Contact a Truck Accident Lawyer in the Los Angeles Area
It is important to retain an attorney who is familiar with truck regulations and the trucking industry, and who also genuinely cares about clients' needs. Los Angeles truck accident attorney Devin Sawdayi can investigate negligence by multiple different parties and determine your potential sources of recovery after a collision. Contact Devin Sawdayi at 310-475-9399 or use our online form to set up a free consultation with a car accident attorney.