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Determining Liability After a Riverside Truck Accident

Accidents involving larger commercial trucks must be thoroughly investigated by law enforcement, insurance carriers, and legal teams. The reality is that these incidents typically result in significant property damage and major injuries for those involved, and it is crucial for victims to recover compensation for their losses. Here, we want to discuss how liability is determined after a truck accident occurs in Riverside and the surrounding areas.

The Four Elements of Negligence and Truck Accidents

Every personal injury claim, not just truck accident cases, needs to have four separate elements in place in order to be successful. A skilled truck accident lawyer can help you ensure that these four elements are in place as you proceed forward with your insurance claim or a civil personal injury lawsuit.

  1. Duty. The first step with these claims is showing that the truck driver or trucking company owed a duty of care to the injury victim. Truck drivers and trucking companies automatically owe a duty of care to every driver on the roadway around them. This includes operating the vehicle safely, ensuring the vehicle is safe, and following all traffic laws and federal regulations.
  2. Breach. After establishing that there was indeed a duty of care between the plaintiff (the injury victim) and the defendant (the person alleged to have caused the incident), it must be shown that there was a breach of duty. For a truck accident claim, a breach of duty could occur in a wide variety of ways. This could include the truck driver operating while impaired by alcohol or drugs, while distracted, failing to obey traffic laws, and more. This could also include the trucking company not following federal regulations when inspecting and maintaining the vehicles, hiring and training drivers, etc.
  3. Causation. After establishing that there was a breach of duty of care, it must be shown that the breach was the direct cause of the plaintiff’s injuries.
  4. Damages. Finally, it needs to be established that the plaintiff suffered some sort of monetary losses as a result of the breach of duty and the incident that followed. This can include medical bills, lost wages, property damage expenses, and more.

What Evidence is Needed to Determine Liability

There will be various types of evidence needed to prove liability for a truck accident claim, and the investigation will begin right after the crash occurs. Some of the evidence gathered at the scene of the incident that could be useful include:

  • Statements from eyewitnesses
  • Photographs taken at the scene of injuries, damages, debris, and more
  • The police report

In the days and weeks that follow a truck crash, there will be various other types of evidence gathered by those involved, including the Riverside personal injury attorneys of the victim. This can include, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Video surveillance footage from nearby cameras
  • The truck’s electronic control module (ECM)
  • The truck driver’s electronic logging device (ELD)
  • Mobile device records
  • Truck company inspection and maintenance records

It is crucial to have Riverside truck accident attorneys work on these cases so they can use their resources to fully investigate every claim and move forward vigorously against aggressive insurance carriers.