Commercial truck drivers tend to be highly experienced behind the wheel, yet thousands of people still die each year in collisions involving large trucks. The resulting injuries are often catastrophic, and many victims are never able to make a full recovery. Our Santa Barbara truck accident attorneys are dedicated to helping the injured and their families fight for the compensation they deserve.
Depending on the circumstances, you might have grounds for a claim against the truck driver, the driver’s employer, an auto parts manufacturer, a maintenance contractor, or another party. Our lawyers can help you identify all potentially liable parties in order to give your case the highest possible chance of resulting in a fair payout. To discuss your claim in a free consultation, contact us today at 1-800-GO-HARRIS.
Types of Cases Our Santa Barbara Truck Accident Attorneys Handle:
One of the reasons why determining liability can be so complicated after a truck accident is there are many factors that can contribute to these collisions. It’s not uncommon for multiple parties to share fault for a single crash.
At Harris Personal Injury Lawyers, we have the experience and resources to achieve successful outcomes in a wide array of truck accident cases including those that involve:
- Cargo spilling onto the highway
- Shifting cargo that leads to a loss of control
- Truck rollover accidents
- Tire blowout accidents
- Drowsy driving accidents
- Blind spot-related accidents
- Truck accidents resulting in wrongful death
- Other accident scenarios
Can a Motor Carrier Be Held Liable for a Truck Driver’s Negligence?
Sometimes, yes. In the state of California, employers can be held vicariously liable for the negligence of employees who are acting within the scope of their employment. That means if a truck driver is an employee rather than an independent contractor, his or her employer might be liable for any accidents resulting from the truck driver’s negligence.
Pursuing compensation from the motor carrier rather than just the truck driver might increase your chances of recovering compensation for 100 percent of your damages. To avoid potential bankruptcy, motor carriers tend to have robust insurance policies, which often have higher bodily injury coverage limits than policies carried by truck drivers and other motorists.
Under some circumstances, a truck accident can be traced back to the negligence of a motor carrier. For example, if the trucking company doesn’t implement reasonable hiring and training procedures or fails to maintain its fleet, that company might be liable for any collisions that occur as a result. Our Santa Barbara truck accident lawyers can investigate your crash to determine whether the motor carrier’s negligence may have been a contributing factor.
Can Multiple Parties Share Liability for a Single Truck Accident?
Absolutely. In fact, naming multiple defendants in your claim may increase your chances of collecting compensation for all the damages you’ve incurred. Pursuant to California’s joint and several liability law, a single defendant can be held liable for 100 percent of a claimant’s economic damages even if that defendant was only partially liable for the accident.
For example, let’s assume a maintenance contractor failed to replace the truck’s tires on schedule. Due to a lack of traction, the truck skidded on the highway and crashed into your vehicle. Evidence is later uncovered that proves the motor carrier or trucker was aware that the tires were unsafe yet still chose to keep the vehicle on the road to avoid the loss in revenue. In this scenario, anyone injured in the accident may have grounds for a claim against the maintenance contractor, truck driver, and/or motor carrier. Under California’s pure comparative negligence system, each party found liable for the crash would be assigned a percentage of fault and would be liable for the corresponding percentage of the claimant’s damages. But if one defendant lacks the insurance coverage to pay for their portion of the claimant’s economic damages, the claimant has the right to seek the difference from one of the other defendants.
At Harris Personal Injury Lawyers, we always perform meticulous investigations to identify all potentially liable parties. If necessary, we will visit the crash scene, review surveillance and dash cam footage, bring in accident reconstruction experts, review black box data and electronic driver’s logs, assess the motor carrier’s hiring and training procedures, and file subpoenas to obtain evidence that’s being withheld.
Contact Us Today to Speak with a Truck Accident Lawyer in Santa Barbara
The thought of navigating through complex statutes, case law, and legal proceedings can seem overwhelming in the aftermath of a serious injury or wrongful death in the family. Our truck accident attorneys are here to guide you through every step of the process and to make sure you are treated fairly by the insurance company. To speak with a member of our team, call 1-800-GO-HARRIS or use our contact form to set up a free, no-obligation case review.