Truck Accident Lawyers serving all of Sonoma County
Roughly 500,000 trucking accidents occur in the United States each year. Truck accidents can cause severe injuries and damage and an estimated 5,000 result in death. Of these, almost all injuries and deaths happen to the motorist who was driving the car. More than 200 truck accidents happen in California annually, amounting to 6.3% of all auto accidents for the state. With these high numbers, it’s important to hire an experienced Santa Rosa truck accident lawyer in the case of an accident.
Liability can be complex, and you may be wondering who is liable in the event of an accident. Liability in truck accidents is not as easy to determine as with other auto accidents. There are many people and organizations involved and finding out what went wrong can be a complex process.
Who Is Liable for a Trucking Accident?
The trucking industry is governed by federal laws and regulations. Truckers are expected to adhere to certain standards as put forth by the Department of Transportation and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Under these standards, there are a number of people who may be held responsible in an accident, such as:
- The truck driver
- The owner of the truck
- The person who leased the truck from its owner
- The manufacturer of the vehicle or one of its parts if a part is found to be defective
- The shipper or loader if the truck was not properly loaded
An inexperienced truck accident attorney may have difficulty determining liability in a trucking accident because of the many legal intangibles involved. Most trucking companies, manufacturers, and other entities have a team of defense lawyers on retainer in cases of accidents. Do not waste valuable time; work with an experienced and knowledgeable Santa Rosa truck accident attorney who will fight for you.
Why Do Trucking Accidents Happen?
Truck accidents are a result of either driver neglect, a defective part, or unsafe vehicle. The reason behind the accident will determine who is ultimately held liable. Common causes of truck accidents include:
- Driver error. This is the most common cause. Truck drivers are more susceptible to dangerous driving conditions such as inclement weather, fatigue, distractions, medication side effects, and more. This may indicate negligence on the driver’s part.
- Equipment failure. The second most common cause is a problem with the equipment. This can mean a manufacturing mistake, like defective tires, caused the accident. It can also indicate a design error on the vehicle manufacturer’s part. Other factors can be that the vehicle was not properly maintained, which is the most common type of equipment failure. In these situations, the trucking company, vehicle manufacturer, or parts manufacturer may be held liable.
Injury sustained from a trucking accident may mean the person injured can claim several types of damages. Damages are either economic or non-economic, all of which are meant to compensate your expenses stemming from the accident. For example, you could recover costs for:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of relationship (if a victim has lost his or her ability to have a physical or mental relationship)
- Wrongful death (if you or a family member lost a loved one in the accident)
- Punitive damages (in cases where the defendant acted in an extremely negligent manner)
Experienced Santa Rosa Truck Accident Attorneys
Your compensation will be based on the added amounts from each damage type. At North Bay Legal, we work to get you the most amount possible for each applicable damage claim. Know your rights after an injury in a trucking accident. Contact us today to go over your options. Based in Santa Rosa, we also serve Sonoma County and the surrounding areas. We fight aggressively on behalf of our clients to get them the compensation they need to rebuild their lives.