Many trucking accidents are caused by a truck driver’s failure to check their blind spots. There are many “no-zones,” which are blind spots, around a big rig. These include areas right in front of the truck, to the right of the cab, directly behind a trailer, and behind the driver side window. If you have been injured on the road because a truck driver failed to check their blind spots, you should consult California truck accident lawyer Travis G. Black about the possibility of seeking compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. From his Folsom office, he can help many California victims assert their legal rights.
Pursuing Compensation for Injuries Caused by a Blind Spot Crash
Truck drivers must use reasonable care to avoid harming others. The injuries in a truck accident are likely to be catastrophic or even fatal, so it is crucial for drivers to use a high level of care when switching lanes, turning, or slowing down. If you were struck while in a driver’s blind spot, you may be able to recover compensation. In most cases, you will need to establish negligence by proving that the truck driver’s failure to check blind spots was a breach of reasonable care and that this breach was the legal cause of your injuries.
A driver who fails to check blind spots when slowing, turning, changing lanes, or making any other maneuver may have failed to use reasonable care. However, the driver may defend himself on the basis of comparative negligence. This means that the jury will evaluate the facts presented and determine the percentage of fault of both parties, and the plaintiff’s recovery will be reduced by any percentage of fault. For example, a jury may find a plaintiff comparatively negligent for tailgating a big rig or driving for a long time in a truck’s blind spot if there were other lanes or spaces available.
Sometimes you may also sue a trucking company that employs an at-fault driver. The trucking company may be held vicariously (indirectly) liable, in which case it is responsible for paying damages if the truck driver is found negligent. A trucking company also may be held directly liable for its own negligence under theories of negligent hiring, negligent training, or negligent supervision. Trucking companies owe the public a responsibility to make sure that their drivers abide by the FMCSA regulations, including requirements to keep accurate log books and not to drive while intoxicated.
If a trucking company knows that the at-fault driver had a record of driving under the influence and getting into multiple accidents, for example, it may be liable for negligent hiring. Trucking companies are supposed to conduct background checks, and those that do not conduct them breach their duty to use reasonable care. Similarly, trucking companies should make sure that their drivers are trained to deal with heavy traffic and to check blind spots. They may be held responsible if they provide their trucks to drivers whom they have not bothered to train.