In almost all types of personal injury cases, you need to be able to establish negligence to hold the at-fault party liable for your accident. A truck accident is no different to this. When the driver of the truck acted negligently, he or she is to blame for your injuries.
Negligence has four main elements, which are as follows.
First, the driver is obligated to drive carefully, to ensure their vehicle is functioning properly, and to follow all federal and state regulations. Their duty of care also includes keeping proper truck logs, doing maintenance on the rig, getting appropriate rest, and more.
When they do not uphold the duty of care, thus causing a truck accident, it is thought of as a breach of that duty. This is the second element in negligence. Essentially, in the event a reasonably prudent individual would have done something else under the circumstances, then the driver breached his or her duty of care. If for instance when driving close to a semi-truck, a sudden and strong wind gust causes the other driver to hit your vehicle, then this may not be regarded as a breach, because this is an unforeseeable incident.
Then, the breach thereof must have brought about your injury. For example, if an accident occurs two lanes ahead of your vehicle, and you escaped without suffering any injury, you cannot sue the truck driver or their employer.
Finally, you have to prove that your accident caused you some form of monetary damage. This is usually the easiest thing to prove for a truck accident lawyer – being hit by such an automobile will almost surely cause damage. Monetary damage may be damage to your vehicle, lost wages, medical bills or another economic loss.
Comparative Fault Laws of California
When negligence has been proven, you and your truck accident attorney will then have to consider laws concerning pure comparative negligence. This means, even if you are partially to blame for your accident, you may be able to recover compensation for your damages. However, the compensation amount you get will depend on the extent of your fault in the incident.
In some US states, you cannot get any compensation if you are either 50% or 51% responsible for your accident injuries. In California, however, even if your fault is 99%, you can still get that 1% of the compensation amount you deserve to get.
It is still important to prove the other party’s negligence, though.