A fully loaded large truck can weigh tens of thousands of pounds. So most of the collisions involving trucks cause serious damages and injuries. Whenever an accident involves a large commercial truck, many people can be held liable. This can include the driver, the container’s owner, and even the load owner. If you or a loved one has been involved in a road accident involving a truck and injured, you should know how to handle the situation.
So what should you do if you suffer from a truck accident injury in California?
Immediate Steps After a Truck Accident
California state law gives the most emphasis on the need to provide assistance to anyone injured in an accident. However, the law also lays down the requirement for motorists to give the following information:
- Your name and address
- The name and addresses of all the occupants and vehicle owner
- Your driver’s license
- Vehicle registration and insurance
You can share this information with law enforcement or the other parties involved in the accident.
Report the Accident
If there have been any injuries or damages in a truck accident, it will be required by the state law to report it to law enforcement. As already mentioned, truck accidents will almost always involve some injuries or property damage. So you cannot ignore reporting it. The state law holds drivers liable if roads, bridges, or other state properties have been damaged. Thus, the accident report will play an important role in establishing liability.
Types of Truck Accidents
Truck accidents can happen anytime and anywhere. However, there are some types of accidents that occur commonly. These types of accidents typically cause injuries, fatalities, and damages.
i. Tire Blowout Accidents
A tire blowout can create disastrous situations on the road. The truck can roll over, move into another lane, or jackknife. Tire blowouts are usually caused by wear and tear, improper maintenance, or manufacturing defects. If you get involved in such an accident and get injured, it will be required to find the cause. This is where you will need the help of a specialized 18 wheel semi truck accident lawyer. The tire blowout can also cause direct damage to cars that may be in the vicinity of the tire.
As the name suggests, rollovers occur when the truck rolls over to a side. Many things can cause this type of truck accident. A truck may rollover because of speeding, slipper roads, driver mistakes, incorrect cargo loading, and poor maintenance.
A jackknife accident occurs when the trailer and the cab of an 18-wheeler semi or big rig fold at the joint. It will usually occur when the trailer’s rear swings forward or moves faster than the cab. This causes the driver to lose control. The accident can involve a collision with other vehicles around the truck. Some of the causes of jackknifing include speeding, locked wheels, loose cargo, improper maneuvering, or even weather condition.
iv. Underride Accidents
This type of truck accident can occur on the front, side, or rear of the truck. Usually, the height difference with other vehicles causes them to slip under the truck. While trucks are fitted with underride guards, they may not work under the impact.
Truck accidents may also occur due to unsecured load.
How to Determine the At-Fault Party?
When you are involved in a truck accident, it can be much more difficult to determine the cause and the at-fault party. It is much different from a car accident because there are many factors involved. It can involve multiple drivers and passengers.
Because of so many factors being involved, making it difficult for you to determine the cause, you should get the help of a San Diego truck accident lawyer. The truck driver may or may not be liable. Many times these accidents are caused by improper cargo loading or poor maintenance of the vehicle. So it is likely that the trucking company may be liable.
Typically, the liability in a truck accident eventually comes down to the fine points in the contracts between the drivers, employers, load owners, truck companies, and maintenance providers. So it is best to get legal help to protect your interests and get compensated for your injuries and damages.