When an accident involves a large truck, the results can be disastrous. Since the truck is so much bigger than the other vehicle, injuries to drivers and passengers can be serious or even life-threatening. In addition, no matter the circumstances surrounding the accident, almost everyone automatically jumps to the conclusion that the accident was the fault of the truck driver. While this may be true in some cases, it doesn’t always play out this way. In fact, many accidents involving large trucks are not the fault of the truck driver, but the other drivers. However, due to the negative preconceptions of others and the numerous complexities involved in accidents involving big trucks, it is important the truck driver have legal representation that knows how to win these cases. If you are a truck driver who has been involved in an accident you know was not your fault, here is how a Los Angeles truck accident attorney can help prove your innocence.
In many of these accidents, other drivers tend to assume the truck driver was driving while fatigued and in need of sleep. Since there are strict rules in place regarding how long truck drivers can be on the road before they are required to stop for rest periods, many plaintiffs believe they can use this to their advantage to easily win a case. However, by hiring a knowledgeable truck accident lawyer from West Coast Trial Lawyers, your attorney can cite such things as your safe driving record and verified log books to show you were in fact well within regulations at the time of the accident.
Crash for Cash Schemes
In some situations, your personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles will be able to prove you and your big rig were the victims of what is known as “crash for cash.” In these situations, two drivers of passenger vehicles work together to force a big truck into an accident with a vehicle. While one driver is in the vehicle that gets struck by the truck, the other driver acts as a eyewitness who just happens to be at the right place at the right time. While it can be difficult to prove these elaborate scams, it is not impossible. By hiring an experienced truck accident lawyer, your attorney will be able to use dashcam footage from your truck to show the court how this scam took place. Along with this, your attorney can investigate the other drivers, often discovering they have been involved in many similar accidents in the past.
Improperly Loaded Cargo
In some truck accidents, it is found upon further investigation that the truck contained improperly loaded cargo for which the driver was completely unaware. When this happens, fault is usually assigned to those responsible at the cargo holding facility. In the event a truck has improperly loaded cargo, accidents can occur when the cargo shifts during transport, putting uneven amounts of weight on the rear of the truck and leading to jackknifing, rollovers, or cargo falling off the truck and onto nearby motorists. In cases such as these, it will be critical for you as the truck driver to work with a Los Angeles truck accident attorney who handles these cases regularly and understands how to properly investigate these situations.
Lack of Inspections
When you step into the cab of your big rig and leave your company’s terminal, you assume the company has thoroughly inspected your truck prior to letting you take it out on the highway. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Time after time when an accident occurs involving a big truck and a passenger vehicle, investigators find the truck was not properly inspected before starting its journey. As a result, it was an accident waiting to happen. However, if these inspection problems are not discovered, most people will believe it was the truck driver’s fault the accident occurred. Rather than let yourself be blamed for an accident that could have been prevented if only your truck had been properly inspected, turn to the expertise of a personal injury lawyer at West Coast Trial Lawyers for assistance.
Behavior of Other Drivers
Along with looking at various aspects of the trucking company itself, your attorney will also take a close look at the other drivers involved in the accident. In many of these accidents, a skilled attorney can discover the driver of the other vehicle was impaired or distracted, thereby causing the accident. Along with this, your attorney may find the other driver has a history of reckless driving, impaired driving, or other offenses that indicate they are a danger when behind the wheel. Whatever the case may be, it will be important for your attorney to be able to compare your exemplary driving and safety record to that of the other driver. Once the other driver’s credibility is called into question, you will have a much better chance of winning your case.
Investigating the Broker
Often overlooked in many of these accidents, the broker who oversees much of the truck’s functions may sometimes be negligent in various duties. For example, upon investigation, your truck accident attorney may find that by examining dispatch records, trip notes, and various receipts and bills, the broker cut corners on such areas as inspections and getting the proper equipment for the truck. As an example, if the truck experienced a blown tire that led to the accident, your attorney may find the broker did not purchase new tires for the truck, but instead left older tires on the truck that led to the accident. In addition to this, your attorney may also find a broker failed to ensure the truck’s brakes, axle, engine, and hitches were in good shape prior to the accident. Finally, there may be instances where the broker falsified the truck’s maintenance logs to make it appear as if the truck had been recently inspected. In any case, finding out any of these situations existed will be important to proving the accident was not your fault.
Using a Team of Experts
Since big truck accident cases are so complex, hiring an attorney who regularly handles these cases will also ensure you will have not only a skilled attorney working on your case, but many other experts as well. When investigating a case, your truck accident attorney will deploy a team of experts to find out what really happened. Whether this involves mechanical experts to examine the truck, accident reconstruction specialists to examine the crash scene, or even private investigators or forensic computer experts to examine computer records if fraud is suspected, these and other experts can sometimes be the difference between winning or losing a case. In some situations, they can also testify on your behalf as expert witnesses, making your case that much stronger.
Due to the likelihood that no matter the circumstances surrounding the accident you will be initially blamed for the accident, it is vital you have expert legal guidance from start to finish. Thus, always call on an experienced Los Angeles truck accident attorney from West Coast Trial Lawyers. By doing so, you will have a truck accident lawyer who will fight hard for your legal rights as well as your reputation.