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Identifying defendants in a truck accident case

Dale Gribow Oct. 1, 2016

Truck accident cases in Palm Springs share many of the same characteristics as car accidents in that the basis for collecting a judgment rests on the concept of proving negligence.

Simply put, proving negligence means proving that the truck driver and his company owed the plaintiff (and everyone else on the road) the duty to execute a reasonable amount of care to keep others from getting injured. Once proven, which in most cases is a given, it must be proven that the defendant failed to exercise that standard of reasonable care. And finally, it must be proven that not executing that standard was the direct cause of the injuries and damages suffered by the plaintiff.

However, because a fully loaded truck can weigh upwards of 80,000 pounds versus a car that typically will weigh about 3,000 pounds, there are notable differences in the types of accidents, injuries and deaths that occur when a big rig is involved. For legal purposes, and this will vary from case to case, a truck accident lawyer should focus on who all the potential defendants are.

On the surface, this sounds relatively easy. Of course, the driver must be a defendant, but there are many other possibilities as well. In many cases, liability can also rest with the driver’s employer, whether that is a trucking company, any kind of commercial business, or in any situation where trucks are used to conduct business. In those cases, insurance companies representing those interests may be on the hook for compensating you as well. It is important to show that the company exercised some form of control over the driver instead of a truck driver being declared as an independent contractor.

Dale Gribow, Attorney at Law proudly serves Palm Springs and surrounding California communities.