Tractor-trailers and big rigs are significantly less stable than the average passenger car. Like SUVs, they can flip over and roll when they encounter some sort of obstacle, such as a curb. They can also tip over because of unsafe steering, excessive speeding, or a loss of traction. If you are injured in a truck rollover accident, it is crucial to retain an experienced Folsom truck accident attorney. These types of cases are not the same as car accident cases. Not all attorneys understand how to recover damages from trucking defendants. Travis G. Black is a Folsom personal injury attorney who previously worked in insurance and law enforcement. He understands the nuances of truck accident cases and how to pursue damages in them.
Truck Rollover Accidents
Fatalities caused by truck rollovers are common. A large truck can roll on a hill, while in a jack-knifed position and backing up, or when making a turn. A truck driver may be responsible for a truck rollover because he takes a turn too fast, changes lanes too quickly, excessively speeds, hits an obstacle, or has a shifting, improperly stacked, or poorly secured load. You can hold a truck driver responsible for negligence by showing that they owed a duty to use reasonable care, which they breached, thereby causing you actual damages.
All truck drivers owe a duty to use reasonable care on the roads of California. They may breach this duty in any number of ways. For example, a truck driver may fail to use reasonable care when speeding off an exit ramp. Speeding can be particularly dangerous if the road is slick after the first rain of the season. If the truck driver’s actions or omissions are partially or fully to blame for a rollover that caused your injuries or killed a loved one, the driver can be held accountable through a lawsuit.
However, when there is a rollover, there may be multiple accident victims. These victims’ claims can quickly exhaust a single truck driver’s insurance policy. That is one reason why it is important to look at whether anybody else was to blame for the accident. Often, it is necessary to retain an accident reconstruction specialist to analyze the forces that combined to create an accident. Each person or entity at fault can be sued and held responsible. In California, different drivers and entities can be held jointly and severally liable for economic damages like medical bills and lost income. However, each defendant is held only severally liable for noneconomic damages like pain and suffering.
A trucking company can be held indirectly or directly responsible by an attorney for a truck rollover accident. A trucking company is supposed to make sure that its drivers understand how to operate a large commercial truck and that they are properly trained. They are supposed to make sure that drivers follow regulations while on the road, including regulations about how many hours they can drive between rest breaks. If a trucking company fails to conduct a background check prior to hiring a driver or fails to properly supervise or train a driver, it can be held directly liable for negligent hiring, negligent supervision, or negligent training.
In some cases, a third party that loaded or maintained the truck may be held responsible for negligence. For example, once a truck driver loses control, the cargo may shift. A partial load that creates an unsafe force can cause the truck to flip.
It is rare but possible for a truck manufacturer to be responsible for a rollover. In such cases, it would be necessary to retain an accident reconstruction specialist to show that there was something defective in the manufacturing or design of the truck that caused it to roll.