FAQ About Truck Crashes and Liability

FAQ About Truck Crashes and Liability

FAQ About Truck Crashes and Liability

I’m Ed Smith, an Elk Grove truck accident lawyer. An accident with a big truck can cause devastating injuries. However, truck accidents can be much more complex than motor vehicle accidents and require the help of an experienced lawyer. Following are some of the questions commonly asked after a motor vehicle crash with a big truck.

Is a Negligent Truck Driver Solely Liable in a Truck Accident?

This depends on many factors. One is whether the driver is working as an independent contractor or is employed by a company. The reason for the crash determines who may be held at fault. For example, if the accident is found to be because of a defect in the truck’s manufacture or parts supplied by another company, the manufacturer and parts supplier may be held liable under products liability. If the accident was caused because the load shifted, resulting in a rollover or other accident, the company or individuals who loaded the truck may be held responsible.

Why Do Motor Vehicle Accidents With a Large Truck Cause Serious Injuries?

A motor vehicle weighs a few thousand pounds. When it collides with a large truck that is around 70-80 feet long and can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, it isn’t surprising that serious injuries result. Considering that large trucks transport the bulk of merchandise from city to city throughout California, it isn’t unusual to see large numbers of them. Out of the over 28 million driver’s licenses currently registered in California, almost 500,000 are for commercial licenses subject to commercial vehicle registration act taxes, and over 5 million are for those that are not subject to the tax.

If the Fault for the Accident Is Partially Mine, Can I Still Recover Damages?

California is a comparative fault state. This means that each driver is responsible for his or her portion of an accident. When determining fault, a percentage of the blame can be assigned to each driver if both were negligent. For example, the driver of a motor vehicle is involved in a crash with a large truck. The driver of the truck is determined to be 70 percent at fault for the collision, while the driver of the motor vehicle is responsible for 30 percent. This means that the motor vehicle driver can still collect 70 percent of the compensation that is awarded.

What Are the Most Common Contributing Factors in Truck Accidents?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration conducted a study to determine the major causes of driver error in big truck accidents. Although there were many factors associated with truck accidents, the following were determined to be the most common.

  • Defective or worn brakes
  • Problems in traffic such as slow downs, stalled traffic and congestion
  • Fatigue
  • Problems with the roadway such as construction or maintenance
  • Use of over-the-counter drugs
  • Travel on an unfamiliar road
  • Use of prescription drugs
  • Speeding
  • Distracted driving
  • Having to stop at a traffic light or at a pedestrian crosswalk

Related Articles by Elk Grove Truck Accident Lawyer, Ed Smith ~

Elk Grove Truck Accident Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, an Elk Grove truck accident lawyer. Those who are involved in a crash with a negligent truck driver can face devastating injuries and mounting medical bills. If this happened to you or to someone in your family, call me at (916) 694-0002 for free, friendly advice. If you prefer, you can use my toll-free number at (800) 404-5400 or the online contact form at

In my 35 years as a personal injury lawyer, I’ve assisted many residents of Elk Grove and the rest of California with their claims, including traumatic brain injuries and wrongful death.

Look over a list of some of our cases and results at Verdicts and Settlements.

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At, you can look over the forum I belong to, which is reserved for personal injury trial lawyers with at least one million dollars in clients verdicts and/or settlements.

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