Refrigerator Truck Accidents
Companies use refrigerator trucks to deliver cargo that needs to be kept at a certain temperature. Cargo that should be delivered this way may include food and prescription drugs. However, like other trucks, refrigerator trucks are hard to maneuver, and they are huge and heavy. Often, their drivers are in a rush to make sure that they are delivering goods on time. The injuries that may be sustained in a refrigerator truck accident can be catastrophic. Sometimes refrigerator truck accidents result in the deaths of bystanders and others on the road. At Sharifi Firm, our Los Angeles truck accident lawyers may be able to help you recover damages if you were injured in a refrigerator truck accident.Holding a Careless Trucker or Company Liable
Operating a refrigerator truck requires specific skills and knowledge. Not all drivers are in a good position to become commercial truck drivers. Refrigerator truck drivers must take care to follow regulations specific to trucks and also avoid driving while intoxicated, fatigued, or distracted. Since the bed where cargo sits is refrigerated, these trucks may need more frequent inspections to identify maintenance issues.
Common reasons for refrigerator truck accidents include speeding, fatigued drivers, distracted driving, texting while driving, dangerous maneuvering of the truck, inadequate training, and improper maintenance. You may be able to hold the truck driver responsible by proving by a preponderance of the evidence that they were negligent. This means that you will need to show that the driver owed a duty to drive safely, failed to use reasonable care, in breaching this duty caused the accident, and caused you to sustain actual damages.
For example, if you can prove that it is more likely than not that the refrigerator truck driver's speeding caused them to lose control of the truck and slam into your car, you will likely be able to recover damages. Similarly, if you prove that it is more likely than not that a refrigerator truck driver failed to take mandatory rest breaks and as a result was sleepy at the wheel, you will likely be able to recover damages.
The refrigerator truck driver's employer can be held vicariously liable if its employee was negligent in the course and scope of employment in California. Moreover, in some cases, the employer is independently negligent by failing to conduct a background check, failing to provide adequate supervision, failing to conduct proper maintenance, or otherwise failing to take reasonable care to avoid injuries to others. You may be able to hold a refrigerator truck company liable under a theory of negligent maintenance, negligent hiring, or negligent supervision. It can be challenging to hold a trucking company liable because it usually has significant resources at its disposal to avoid liability, but in most cases, there is greater insurance coverage for a trucking company than for an individual driver.
It is important to seek legal counsel right away. Sometimes spoliation of evidence becomes an issue in truck accident cases. Spoliation involves the intentional destruction, loss, or concealment of evidence in an effort to avoid litigation or liability. If spoliation is found, the court can impose harsh sanctions against the offending party. However, it is important to try to avoid evidence being lost or concealed in the first place.
If you are injured in a refrigerator truck accident, you may be able to win compensatory damages, including pain and suffering, loss of income, loss of earning capacity, medical expenses, and household services. In some cases, it may be possible to recover punitive damages as well for intentional and egregious conduct. For example, if a refrigerator truck company knew that a driver routinely did drugs while hauling cargo but did not take any disciplinary steps, and as a result innocent people were hurt, it might be appropriate for the court to award punitive damages.Retain a Los Angeles Attorney for Your Motor Vehicle Collision Case
Refrigerator truck accidents can have devastating consequences in Los Angeles and elsewhere in Southern California. At Sharifi Firm, APC, our experienced motor vehicle collision attorneys may be able to help you recover compensation from the parties responsible for your injuries. Contact us online or call us at 1-866-422-7222. We also represent people in Temecula, Rancho Cucamonga, San Bernardino, Glendale, Covina, and Riverside, among other cities.