Though big rigs account for only three percent of all vehicles on the road today, they are involved in one of every eight auto accidents that results in fatalities. Because of this, people often jump to the conclusion that whenever an accident occurs, it is automatically the truck driver’s fault. However, this is not always the case. In many situations, it is the other driver or drivers who have created unsafe conditions that led to the accident. In other instances, the truck driver may be unaware he or she has been provided a truck and related equipment that has not been properly inspected or maintained prior to starting its journey. Whatever the case may be, truck drivers often find themselves facing severe legal issues whenever an accident occurs, even if it is not their fault. If you are a truck driver who has been involved in an accident, here is why you need to work with an experienced California truck accident attorney.
Crash for Cash Victim
Since people assume a truck driver will automatically be blamed for any accident in which they are involved, some drivers choose to concoct what is known as a crash for cash scheme. When this happens, a pair of drivers team up to create a situation that leads to a truck driver hitting one of their vehicles with their truck, causing severe damage and possibly injuries. To successfully pull off this scheme, one driver positions themselves to be hit by the truck, while the other driver is nearby and can act as a witness. When this happens, the truck driver is thus made to look as if they caused the accident, leading to a lawsuit being filed against them and their company. To make sure you are not a victim of this scheme, you will need to work with the best personal injury lawyer who is familiar with crash for cash schemes. Once you do, your lawyer can begin investigating the victims, and can often find out they have a prior history of being involved in other so-called “accidents” with other big rigs.
Faulty Truck or Equipment
In cases where a truck driver is employed by a trucking company, it is possible they may be given a truck to drive that has not been properly maintained or inspected by the company. Therefore, once they are on the road, various problems can result. For example, if brakes and tires have not been properly maintained, the driver may have difficulty stopping as quickly as they should, resulting in an accident. Also, if their trailer has not been properly inspected or loaded correctly, it can lead to serious accidents where the trailer comes loose from the rig or tips over due to cargo shifting. In these situations, it will be important for the driver to work closely with West Coast Trial Lawyers to not only prove they were driving in a safe manner when the accident happened, but also that the company was at fault for failing to provide them with a truck and equipment that was safe to be on the road.
Incorrect Company Records
Since there are many regulations in place to make sure truck drivers get the proper amount of sleep and rest needed to safely drive their big rigs, log books and other company records are crucial when accidents occur. Unfortunately, many companies fail to properly maintain accurate records, which can spell trouble for a truck driver when they are involved in an accident. For example, if company records fail to indicate the driver followed guidelines for resting while on the road, it can be difficult to prove otherwise. To make sure this does not happen, the driver will need to retain the services of a California truck accident attorney who has knowledge of these situations. In many cases, duplicate records are kept that may show errors were made when data was entered into a computer system. By using trained computer forensic investigators as part of their team, truck accident attorneys are often able to show the driver followed all required guidelines prior to the accident.
Since most people automatically blame a big rig for an accident, some drivers of passenger vehicles choose to ignore the rules of the road when around large trucks. As a result, they swerve in and out of lanes, fail to use turn signals, and continually put themselves and the truck driver at risk of being involved in a serious accident. Thus, when an accident does happen, most witnesses tend to blame the truck driver. However, if the driver hires the best personal injury lawyer who has in-depth knowledge of these cases, they can use witness testimony, police reports, and information provided by certified truck accident reconstruction specialists to show it was not the truck driver who was at fault for the accident, but rather the driver of the passenger vehicle.
When a truck driver is involved in an accident that is relatively severe, they will sometimes have their CDL suspended for a period of time. If this happens, they will be unable to work, putting them and their family in serious financial peril. In addition, some drivers may also find themselves being charged with reckless driving and other illegal acts, all of which can add up to large fines, ruined reputations, loss of employment, and possibly even jail or prison. To keep this from happening, it is crucial a truck driver facing these situations put their trust in attorneys at West Coast Trial Lawyers. By doing so, they will have lawyers on their side who know how to investigate these matters and protect the legal rights of their clients from start to finish. Whether making an argument in a courtroom or representing their client at a DMV hearing for reinstatement of the CDL, skilled attorneys can make all the difference in these situations.
When a truck driver is part of an auto accident, insurance companies will often do everything they can to make sure the truck driver is held responsible for the accident, even if it is clear the other driver was at fault. If a truck driver has not hired the best personal injury lawyer for their situation, an insurance company can take full advantage of this by using intimidation tactics or confusing methods during conversations to get the driver to admit the accident was their fault. Therefore, if you have been involved in an accident while driving your big rig, do not try to deal with insurance companies on your own. Instead, hire a California truck accident attorney and let them handle all communications with insurance companies.
Due to the many complexities that come with accidents involving large trucks, it is never a good idea to put your fate in the hands of an attorney who has very little experience handling these cases. If you do, they are sure to miss key details that may ultimately result in you losing your case, your career, and possibly even your freedom. Rather than let someone else blame you for an accident that was clearly not your fault, schedule a consultation with West Coast Trial Lawyers to discuss your case in greater detail.