It’s easy to underestimate how much work goes into the overall maintenance of a semi-truck. Truck drivers who operate under a corporate umbrella can often rely on their employers to deal with mechanical failures, oil changes, tire rotations, and other roadway safety basics. Independent contractors, however, have to tackle this work and additional care themselves.
Unfortunately, it’s all too easy for truck drivers and their employers to short-change a truck’s maintenance routine to get the truck back on the road again. Mechanics, too, can be to blame. If this carelessness results in your injury, you can work with a Triumph Law unmaintained truck accident attorney to accuse liable parties of negligence in civil court. Contact our personal injury lawyer today.
How to Classify an Unmaintained Truck Accident
What distinguishes an unmaintained truck accident from other truck accidents? Our attorneys identify unmaintained truck accidents by looking for specific product failures. Instead of blaming a truck driver or their employer for a driver’s roadway negligence, we look for:
- Inadequately-filled tires
- Unchanged oil
- Damaged or out-of-date engines
- Insufficient brake pads
- Rusty trailer hooks
- Ignored recalls
- Failed maintenance checks
Unmaintained truck accident survivors can argue that all of the above forms of damage exhibit a truck driver’s refusal to care for their truck. That refusal can constitute negligence in the eyes of a civil court, thus entitling accident survivors to damages.
Exercising Your Civil Rights After a Truck Accident
Unmaintained truck accident losses can have a long-term effect on your financial and physical stability. While you have to address your accident-related injuries with deliberate treatment and therapy, an unmaintained truck accident attorney can help tackle your financial concerns. Our team can specifically guide you through the process of filing for post-accident damages.
California law entitles those parties injured in a negligence-based accident like an unmaintained truck accident to a personal injury claim. This means that you can work with an attorney to investigate your losses and file a claim for damages in civil court. If your unmaintained truck accident claim moves forward, a liable party may have to help fund your recovery.
That said, you can’t file an unmaintained truck accident claim without first investigating your losses. Your claim must establish liability that you can then defend with relevant evidence. Any claim you make regarding your case’s value must also be based on the economic and non-economic losses you can tie back to your accident.
Fortunately, our team has years of experience bringing forward black box data, witness testimony, expert witness statements, and other forms of evidence to help validate your fight for financial support.
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Who to Hold Responsible for an Unmaintained Truck Accident
When it comes to assigning fault for your unmaintained truck accident, evidence can only take you so far. There are contracts at play in unmaintained truck accident cases that can rewrite the narrative of fault. You, in turn, have to navigate the muddy waters left behind by drivers’ contracts to determine who you can name liable in your personal injury claim.
The parties that most often bear responsibility for a survivor’s unmaintained truck accident losses can include:
If a truck driver operates on a 1099 tax form, they work as an independent contractor. The corporations they work alongside constitute their clients instead of their employers. Working as an independent contractor or a freelance truck driver gives those drivers additional freedoms on the road, but so too do those truckers have additional responsibilities.
Specifically, independent contractors have a responsibility to secure their own truck insurance. These drivers must also manage their truck maintenance schedules and roadway training. If these drivers don’t take care of their trucks and subsequently cause an accident, they must represent themselves in civil court.
Trucking agencies that allow their drivers to operate on W2s view those drivers as full employees under the agency’s protection. If you get into an unmaintained truck accident with a driver who an agency classifies as an employee, you may have the right to name that agency liable for your roadway losses.
Responsibility for your accident may fall to an agency if that agency has extended insurance and legal protection to the drivers it keeps on staff. Our attorneys can assess the contracts that exist between the parties involved in your case before telling you who to name liable for your losses in your claim.
There’s a chance that a truck driver or agency’s mechanic may overlook or ignore dangerous damage in their rush to get a vehicle back on the road. If we can prove that a mechanic’s negligence resulted in a truck driver’s loss of control on the road, you may name that mechanic responsible for your losses.
Our team can specifically divide fault between relevant parties if it appears both the driver and mechanic in question both contributed to your accident.
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Let an Attorney Help You Compile and File a Civil Claim
You are not obligated to try and determine liability in an unmaintained truck accident case on your own. Attorneys with experience investigating cases like yours can step in, bring forward evidence relevant to your case, and format that evidence to suit your claims. All the while, you can focus on financially and physically recovering from your losses.
What’s more, you can count on an attorney to stay on top of your relevant filing deadlines. California Code of Civil Procedure section 335.1 caps your actionable time at two years after your unmaintained truck accident case. If you’re concerned about missing your filing deadline or need help crossing the finish line, our team is here for you.
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Triumph Law Can Fight for the Compensation You Deserve
Whether a truck driver works for a larger agency or as an independent contractor, they are obligated to ensure that their truck is well maintained before they hit the road. Truck drivers, agencies, or mechanics who let a truck take to the road without adequately repairing or maintaining it may find themselves liable for an accident survivor’s losses.
If you’ve walked away from a truck accident and want to learn more about your right to legal action, let Triumph Law guide you. You can connect with our unmaintained truck accident attorneys to investigate your losses and file a civil claim. Contact us by calling our office or reaching out online to schedule your initial case consultation.
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