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Understanding Comparative Negligence in Truck Accident Cases

For most people involved in a truck accident, the experience is a traumatic, overwhelming ordeal. During your recovery, you may find yourself dealing with severe injuries and unnecessary financial and emotional strain. With medical bills piling up and the loss of income, your recovery can seem long and arduous. California’s comparative negligence laws could further complicate matters, influencing your potential compensation, but a truck accident lawyer may be able to help. 

We can explain truck accident liability and how comparative negligence rules will affect your financial recovery.

What Is Comparative Negligence? 

Comparative negligence is a legal doctrine that distributes fault among the parties involved in an accident. It also influences the compensation each party can receive based on their degree of fault in the incident. Unlike traditional concepts where fault is attributed to a single party, comparative negligence recognizes that multiple parties can share responsibility for an accident. This approach reflects the complexities of real-world incidents, particularly in truck accidents, where actions by multiple parties can contribute to an accident.

California Follows a Pure Comparative Negligence Policy

Según el CIV § 1714, California uses a “pure” comparative negligence system, which means an injured party can recover damages even if they are found to be 99% at fault for the accident. The catch, however, is that the injured party’s percentage of fault reduces the recovery amount. For example, if a party is 30% responsible for an accident, their compensation will be reduced by 30%.

This system aims to allocate damages proportionately to the degree of fault, ensuring that all parties bear the financial consequences of their actions. 

How Does Comparative Negligence Affect Truck Accident Claims? 

Negligence determination in truck collisions can be more complicated than in standard vehicle collisions. This is because multiple parties may be liable, such as: 

  • El conductor del camión
  • The trucking company
  • Vehicle and parts manufacturers
  • The truck mechanic
  • A municipality
  • Other road users

A truck accident lawyer can determine which parties are at fault and to what degree they are liable for your injuries. They can employ truck crash investigation procedures and collect relevant evidence to file with your insurance claim. 

How Could the Truck Owner and Truck Company be Liable? 

Vicarious liability is a legal principle that holds one party responsible for the actions of another based on their relationship. In the context of truck accidents, this concept often applies to employers or trucking companies being held responsible for their drivers’ actions. 

For instance, if a truck driver causes an accident while performing job-related duties, the employer can be found vicariously liable for the damages caused by the driver’s negligence. Victims of truck accidents can seek fair compensation not only from the individual driver but also from the employer or company.

How Could a Parts or Vehicle Manufacturer Be Liable? 

Strict liability for faulty parts in a truck accident is based on the concept that truck manufacturers, distributors, or sellers can be held liable for damages caused by those parts. Parts could include:

  • Brakes
  • Tires
  • Lights
  • Steering mechanisms

Under strict liability, victims do not need to prove that the manufacturer was negligent. It is enough to show that the part was defective and that this defect directly caused their injuries. 

How Could a City Be Liable in a Truck Accident? 

A municipality can be held liable in a truck accident if the accident was due, in part or whole, to the municipality’s failure to maintain safe road conditions. This liability arises when accidents are caused by:

  • Potholes
  • Improper signage
  • Inadequate lighting
  • Flawed road design

If the lawyer can prove that the municipality failed to address these issues despite knowing about them, or should have known about them, and this negligence led to the truck accident, the municipality can be legally responsible for the damages and injuries resulting from the accident.

California Also Follows Joint and Several Liability

Joint and several liability is a legal doctrine that allows a plaintiff to recover all the damages awarded in a judgment against any one or more defendants, regardless of each defendant’s share of the liability. If multiple parties are found liable for causing an accident, each party can be held responsible for the entire amount of the damages. 

This is particularly useful in cases where one defendant cannot pay their share of the damages. You and your Abogada de lesiones personales can then seek the full amount from the other defendants.

KJT Law Group Can Explain the Comparative Negligence in Your Truck Accident Case

If you have suffered injuries in a truck accident and have questions regarding your personal injury claim and how comparative negligence will affect it, call (818) 507-8525. Our legal team can provide you with a free case evaluation during your phone call. Also, our truck accident attorneys work on contingency, which means you pay nothing unless we win. 
We understand how a truck accident can impact victims and their families. We want to help you through this difficult time and give you the time to recover in peace. Contact our team today.

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