Commercial trucks are heavier than other vehicles on the road. Whoever collides with a truck is likely to suffer serious injuries or even a wrongful death. The types of injuries incurred in these accidents tend to be permanently and seriously debilitating. Importantly, there may be multiple victims, each of whom may also make claims against the truck driver’s insurance policy. If you suffer some of the common injuries in truck accidents, it is critical to retain an experienced California truck accident lawyer. Travis G. Black is a tenacious attorney with work experience in the insurance industry and law enforcement who can use his unique insights to pursue damages from the parties responsible.
Common Injuries in Truck Accidents May Be Devastating
Even when a truck accident does not kill its victims, it may leave them with catastrophic injuries from which it can take years to recover. In some cases, a full recovery simply is not possible. Catastrophic injuries that are common include broken bones, traumatic brain injury, back and neck injuries, internal injuries, torso injuries, burns, disfigurement, spinal cord injuries, paralysis, and crushing injuries.
Each of these types of injuries can require extensive treatment and may require that you not work for a period. For example, if you are a construction worker, fractures in your leg may mean that you do not work for 10 weeks. If you suffer paralysis as a construction worker, you may never work again, depending on what your skill set is. If you suffer a traumatic brain injury as an administrative assistant, you may no longer be able to work at your job, and you may need rehabilitation or even lifelong assistance, depending on the severity of the brain injury. Damage to internal organs, such as the bladder or pancreas, can be very difficult to treat, and in some cases, accident victims with these injuries die after a prolonged period of suffering in the hospital.
Most people know that they can recover compensation from the driver of a truck. Truck drivers are a major contributing factor in more than half of truck accidents. You can recover compensation from a truck driver if your attorney can show that the truck driver owed you a duty of care, the truck driver breached the duty, causation, and actual damages. However, when there are multiple victims of an accident, all of whom have suffered serious injuries, the coverage may be exhausted quickly, making it important to hold all potentially responsible parties accountable.
In some cases, the trucking company can be held vicariously liable. A trucking company can be vicariously liable for an employee’s failure to use reasonable care in the course and scope of employment. For example, if a truck driver is on the job and runs a red light or falls asleep behind the wheel, the trucking company may be vicariously liable. However, a trucking company can also be directly liable under theories of negligent hiring, training, or supervision. Under these theories, the trucking company is liable for not using reasonable care in hiring, training, or supervising an employee. For example, trucking companies are supposed to conduct a background check before hiring a driver to operate their commercial trucks. When a background check would have turned up red flags, such as drunk driving convictions, the trucking company can be directly liable for negligent hiring.
In some cases, a component of the truck is defective, and this causes the accident. The manufacturer can be held strictly liable for a defectively designed or manufactured truck component that causes a truck accident.
Sometimes a truck accident results in the tragic death of a victim. If a truck accident kills a family member, it is important to retain an attorney with experience in these specific types of claims to navigate their complexities.