Delivery Vehicle Accidents
People who make deliveries for a living are often under business-related pressures while driving. Although there are numerous federal and state regulations for commercial vehicles, which drivers and trucking companies must follow, many drivers are pushed to work more hours than they should to meet delivery deadlines. The result may be accidents that cause catastrophic injuries. If you are involved in a delivery vehicle accident, you can consult the Los Angeles truck accident lawyers at Sharifi Firm. We can develop the evidence and pursue all of the parties that may be responsible for causing the crash.Establishing Liability for Delivery Vehicle Accidents
In many truck accident cases, the driver of a delivery vehicle acted negligently. To establish negligence as a victim, your attorney would need to show the truck driver's duty to use reasonable care, the truck driver's breach of duty, causation, and actual damages. If a truck driver has violated a safety law or regulation, it may be possible to hold the truck driver responsible as a matter of law, or secure a rebuttable presumption of negligence.
For example, under FMCSA regulations, an interstate truck driver's hours of service are limited, and he is supposed to keep a logbook of hours worked. In some cases, delivery vehicle drivers falsify records or work too many hours. The resulting fatigue can lead to catastrophic accidents. In such cases, it may be possible to hold the driver negligent as a matter of law. If the court finds the driver negligent as a matter of law, your remaining concerns will be to prove causation and damages.
Not all delivery vehicle drivers carry sufficient insurance to cover the full scope of damages for accident victims who suffer catastrophic injuries. If the driver caused an accident in the course and scope of employment, it may be possible to hold his employer vicariously (indirectly) liable. In most cases, a trucking company has more insurance coverage than an individual driver, which means that an accident victim is more likely to recover the full range of damages incurred.
Trucking companies may also be held directly liable under a theory of negligent hiring, negligent supervision, or negligent entrustment. When hiring a driver, a trucking company is required to conduct a background check to make sure the applicant is qualified to operate a truck. Due to their weight and size, not everyone is well suited to operate a commercial tractor-trailer or big rig. If, for example, a trucking company conducts a background search and finds that an applicant has had multiple DUIs, but hires the driver to deliver goods across state lines anyway, the trucking company may be liable for negligent hiring.
If you successfully establish negligence, you may be able to recover compensatory damages, such as medical bills, lost wages, household services, property damage, pain and suffering, and loss of consortium. In cases involving drunk driving, you may also be able to recover punitive damages, which are designed to punish the defendant and deter future similar conduct.Discuss Your Truck Crash Case with a Los Angeles Lawyer
If you suffer injuries in a delivery vehicle accident in Los Angeles, you should explore your options with a motor vehicle collision attorney who has experience representing victims. Sharifi Firm also assists injured individuals in Temecula, San Bernardino, Riverside, and Rancho Cucamonga, among other Southern California cities. Contact us at (866) 422-7222 or via our online form for a free consultation.