How to Prove the Negligence of a Trucking Company in Bakersfield
“Truckers don’t make a left turn; they make three rights.”
Trucks are vital to the US as they help transport necessary goods and raw materials across borders. Truckers play a key role in this process, working long hours and braving harsh weather conditions to meet their deadlines.
Sadly, this is what gets them in trouble as well.
Bakersfield, a hub for agriculture and energy production, has its share of trucks moving in and out of the city. The fact that there are plenty of mining, petroleum refining, and food processing industries around Bakersfield adds to the overall population.
When disaster strikes, the best thing for victims to do is to hire a Bakersfield truck accident attorney. This skilled professional will use their expertise and experience to ensure accident victims get all the assistance they need for a successful case.
A lawyer contributes to a truck accident case in the following ways:
- Determine liability
- Calculate compensation
- Handle insurance adjusters
- Compensation negotiation
- Representation in court
Liability in Truck Accidents
Finding the liable party in a mishap is a tricky job because the blame usually falls on the truck driver.
This occurs because the driver is the liable party in most cases. Some drivers don’t think about other motorists and resort to unsafe driving practices to complete the trip. This lack of disregard for others’ safety often leads to casualties.
But there is another party who is responsible for accidents: the trucking company.
Did You Know?
In 2021, there were over half a million (total of 523,796) large and fatal truck accidents across the U.S.
Trucking Companies and Accidents
The spotlight on drivers during accidents is so much that everyone forgets about the trucking company.
Trucking companies are the main perpetrators in accidents. Below are some ways trucking business negligence leads to accidents.
- Poor Driver Screening: Driving a truck takes a hell of a lot of skills, it is not something that everyone can do. When trucking companies hire inexperienced drivers or those with prior DUI records, they are putting everyone on the road at risk.
- Encouraging Violation of Hours of Service (HOS): According to California’s HOS rules, truck drivers are expected to drive up to 11 hours in their 14-hour shift. They must also take a 30-minute break every 8 hours.
Trucking companies often push drivers to work for extended hours, ignoring breaks to meet deadlines. Some companies may even award incentives for quickly finishing trips.
- Improper Truck Maintenance: Trucking companies are responsible for maintaining all the trucks in their fleet. Skimping on this part due to money or resource issues often leads to accidents.
- Irregular Driver Reviews: Most trucking companies forget about periodic driver reviews, where a lack of driver reviews prevents the trucking company from understanding the driver’s current skill level and expertise with the equipment they use every day.
Now that you know how trucking companies cause accidents, let’s examine how to prove their role.
Proving the Trucking Company’s Negligence
Like all personal injury cases, it’s the victim’s responsibility to prove negligence in a truck accident claim. As such, they will be expected to provide evidence to back their claim.
Given below are a few pieces of evidence that can be used to prove the negligence of the trucking company.
- Truck Maintenance Records: Accessing maintenance records sheds light on how frequently it has been serviced. If it is involved in the accident and hasn’t been to the mechanic for a while, the trucking company can be held liable.
- Electronic Logging Devices: Logging systems are vital to tracking the number of hours the driver has operated the vehicle. The data from these systems, along with the driver’s statements, can be used to prove that the trucking business was asked to violate the HOS rules.
- Proof of Communication: Emails or text messages where the trucking business persuades the driver to extend working hours are solid evidence in establishing negligence.
- The Driver’s Records: The driver’s records are significant in a misfortune. If the driver has a history of DUIs and is involved in yet another DUI accident, the trucking company may get a share of the liability.
Truck accidents are a nightmare, where a huge vehicle that weighs thousands of pounds crashing into a car should be avoided at all costs.
Sadly, casualties do happen and victims can suffer some mild or serious injuries. Those who’ve lost their loved ones in a misfortune must contact a lawyer for skilled legal representation.