torrance truck accidents

When a truck accident happens, there are usually several parties involved, and it can be tricky to establish who is responsible for paying damages. Some scenarios point to just the driver’s fault, but there can also be circumstances where another driver or entity’s negligence leads to the event.

 

In most cases, trucking companies have insurance that covers accidents caused by their drivers. This means that if the truck driver is at fault, their employer’s insurance company will be responsible for paying damages. However, there are instances where the driver may be an independent contractor or owner-operator, making them solely liable.

 

This blog looks into the different parties that may be held accountable for damages in Torrance truck accidents. It also offers tips on what victims can do if they suffer injuries, and why working with a personal injury lawyer is in their best interest.

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Torrance Laws on Liability in Truck Accidents

A truck accident is defined as one involving a commercial vehicle, such as a big rig, delivery truck, or tanker, and collisions can happen with another truck, a passenger vehicle, an establishment, or even an innocent bystander or pedestrian. Due to their size and the nature of business they are in, these types of vehicles are subject to stricter regulations and laws compared to regular passenger cars.

 

In Torrance truck accidents, there are specific laws that determine liability in such scenarios.

 

One of the key factors in establishing liability for truck accident damages is whether the driver was an employee or an independent contractor.

If the Driver is an Employee

If they were an employee of a trucking company at the time of the accident, then their employer will likely bear responsibility for any damages caused. This includes situations where the driver was acting within their scope of employment and following company policies.

If the Driver is an Independent Contractor

On the other hand, if the driver was an independent contractor or owner-operator who leases their truck to a company, they may be solely liable for any accidents they cause. This is because independent contractors are not considered employees and, therefore, the trucking company may not be held responsible for their actions.

 

Note that there are exceptions to this rule. In some cases, a trucking company may still be held responsible if they exercised a great deal of control over the driver’s actions or if they failed to properly vet and train the driver before hiring them.

Comparative Negligence Laws in Truck Accident Claims

Comparative negligence laws apply to personal injury cases in California. This means that if both parties involved share some degree of fault for the accident, their liability will be divided based on the percentage of fault assigned to each party.

 

For example, if a pedestrian was hit by a large truck while crossing the street, but was also texting on their phone and not paying attention to traffic signals, they may be found partially at fault for the accident.

 

In this case, if a jury determines that the pedestrian involved in a truck accident was 25% responsible and the truck driver was 75% responsible, then any damages awarded would be reduced by 25% for the pedestrian’s contribution to what happened.

 

However, do note that California follows a pure comparative negligence rule on commercial truck accidents. This means that even if one party is found to be 99% at fault, they can still file a personal injury claim and recover damages for the remaining 1%. This allows victims of motor vehicle accidents to still receive some form of financial compensation even if they were partially to blame.

Personal Injury and Truck Accidents:
Who Pays for Damages?

who pays for damages for a truck accident

In Torrance truck accidents, determining who pays for injuries and damages involves identifying the liable parties, which can include:

  • The truck driver, if the cause of the truck accident was his/her negligence or violations of driving regulations.
  • The trucking company, under “vicarious liability” for their employee’s actions or for their own negligence in vehicle maintenance, hiring, or training.
  • The vehicle parts or truck manufacturers, if the accident resulted from product defects.
  • Cargo loaders, if improperly secured cargo contributed to the accident.

Insurance companies representing these parties typically pay for the truck accident damages, which can encompass medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering. If negotiations with insurance providers fail, it may be necessary to file a lawsuit to ensure fair compensation.

Make Liable Parties Pay:
The Role of a Truck Accident Lawyer

A personal injury attorney plays a crucial role in ensuring that the responsible parties compensate the victims for their losses. A truck accident lawyer in Torrance performs several key functions, including:

  • Investigation: They conduct a thorough investigation to gather evidence, such as driver logs, truck maintenance records, and accident scene data, to establish liability.

 

  • Expert Consultation: Injury attorneys often consult with accident reconstruction experts, medical professionals, and industry specialists to strengthen the case and accurately assess damages.

 

  • Negotiation: They use the evidence to negotiate with insurance companies, aiming for a fair settlement that covers all the victim’s current and future needs.

 

  • Litigation: If negotiations fail, the Torrance truck accident lawyer is prepared to take the case to court, presenting the evidence and arguing on behalf of the truck accident victim to secure just compensation.

 

  • Legal Guidance: Throughout the process, the lawyer provides legal advice, helping the victim understand their rights and the legal complexities of truck accident claims. An experienced Torrance truck accident attorney will also provide guidance on the statute of limitations and make sure you meet deadlines.

Get the Medical Care You Need and the Money You Deserve for Your Truck Accident Injuries.
Hire a Skilled Lawyer in Torrance. Free Consultation.

A large truck crash can result in severe injuries and massive property damage. It can leave victims with physical, emotional, and financial burdens that can be overwhelming.

 

If you or a loved one has been involved in Torrance truck accidents, seek the help of a trusted personal injury law firm right away. RTM Law Firm has helped hundreds of accident victims in California get the money and medical treatment that they deserve. We are after your speedy recovery, so you can get your life back in no time.

 

If you have been in a truck accident in Torrance that left you with serious injuries and losses, reach out to our legal team. Call our truck injury lawyer as soon as possible at (424) 999-7553.

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