Most people we meet with have very few good things to say about truck drivers. Of course, our Los Angeles accident attorneys don’t often meet with these people until after a commercial truck accident. However, truck accident victims assume that the trucker will be held liable simply because there is a negative stigma about truck drivers.
Our truck accident lawyers in Los Angeles know that we need to work just as hard to prove your case as any other. We still need to prove that the other driver was at fault. We also have to prove your damages. It is true that, in some cases, we can pursue damages against the truck driver’s employer. But that doesn’t change the way we approach the case. It just opens up a second opportunity to seek sufficient damages.
Here, we will explain what your Los Angeles accident attorney needs to do to get you damages for your commercial truck accident. We will also explain what will happen if you’re found to be partially at fault for the crash. If you still have questions about your own case, feel free to contact us directly. We can always schedule a date and time for you to meet with one of our truck accident lawyers in Los Angeles.
There Is a Stigma About Commercial Truckers
From the 1960s until the early 1990s, truck drivers were seen as professionals. People respected the fact that they worked long hours and were responsible for carrying precious cargo clear across the country. Since the 1990s, however, negative stereotypes about truckers have started to permeate America.
People tend to complain about tractor-trailers, regardless of whether they have ever known one personally. Some of the negative stereotypes that many people in Los Angeles carry about truck drivers include the following:
- Truck drivers are lazy. They don’t care about other people on the road. All they care about is getting to their destination as quickly as possible. Since people assume they are paid by the mile and not by the hour, they also assume that they drive way too fast.
- Truckers are road hogs. They merge into lanes regardless of whether there is a car nearby. They also drive in the fast lanes despite the fact that they drive ten miles under the speed limit.
- Most truck drivers engage in illicit behavior. Many people assume that truckers drink and do drugs while on the clock. While there is nothing to justify this assumption, it still persists.
- Tractor-trailer drivers are uneducated. For some reason, other motorists assume that people who drive trucks do so because they aren’t qualified to do anything else. In reality, truck drivers train for a long time before they’re allowed behind a big rig.
As you can imagine, these stereotypes don’t help much when our Los Angeles accident attorneys meet with a truck accident victim for the first time.
Your Attorney Must Prove Fault for a Commercial Truck Accident
Despite the stigma associated with truckers, your truck accident lawyer in Los Angeles must prove fault. You need to demonstrate that the truck driver who hit you was negligent. Similarly, you can also point out that they violated one of the federal trucking regulations. Either way, you need to show that the truck driver was the one predominantly at fault. Otherwise, you won’t be entitled to damages.
There’s Always the Chance the Defendant Will Argue That You Were Partially at Fault
In most motor vehicle accident cases our Los Angeles accident attorneys handle, the defendant claims that our client was at fault. They may claim that the only reason they hit the back of your car was that your brake lights were out. Or they may say that you didn’t use your turn signal when changing lanes and that is the reason for the crash.
The good news is that your truck accident lawyer in Los Angeles can still pursue damages, even if you were partly at fault. California follows the pure comparative negligence rule which means you can technically collect damages, even if you were 99% at fault. Of course, if you were more than 50% at fault, the other driver would be suing you.
Remember, You Will Be Able to Pursue Both the Driver and Their Employer
One other thing worth pointing out is that your Los Angeles accident attorney may be able to sue the driver’s employer for damages. If the trucker was on the clock at the time of the crash, their employer may be liable. This is because the company is vicariously liable for its employees’ behavior. If one of their drivers causes an accident, the trucking company will be named in your complaint.
Either Way, Your Truck Accident Lawyer in Los Angeles Will Fight for Damages
If you have been involved in a commercial truck accident, we don’t need to tell you how frightening they can be. If you’re lucky enough to walk away from the accident, you will still suffer serious injuries. Our truck accident lawyers in Los Angeles fight to get our clients as much money as possible. As long as there is ample evidence to prove that the tractor-trailer driver was responsible for the crash, you should be okay.
One thing our Los Angeles accident attorneys always warn clients about is the fact that the trucker is not presumed to be at fault. These cases are no different from other personal injury cases. Your truck accident lawyer in Los Angeles will need to prove both your damages and fault. Otherwise, you won’t have a viable case.
We suggest that you contact our office as soon as possible after your truck accident. This way, your Los Angeles accident attorney will have plenty of time to prepare your case. You only have a certain amount of time to file your lawsuit. If you wait too long, you may miss your window.
You also don’t want to give the defendant too much time to change their story. Since we offer all new clients a free, initial consultation, you have no reason to wait.