Newport Beach Truck Accident Lawyers
If you've been injured in a truck accident in Newport Beach and are unsure what to do, contact our experienced truck accident attorneys for a free consultation. We have been representing truck accident victims for over 35 years throughout Orange County and may be able to increase your compensation. Before you talk to the other party or the insurance companies make sure you have a qualified attorney on your side looking out for you. The difference could be money left on the table. Call 949-203-3814 to speak with a Newport Beach truck accident lawyer.
Establish Who's at Fault in a Truck Accident
As with other types of accidents, figuring out who is at fault in a semi truck accident accident is a matter of deciding who was careless -- or "negligent".
In many cases common sense will tell you that a driver, cyclist, or pedestrian acted carelessly, but you may not know what laws or rules that person violated. Your argument to an insurance company that another person was at fault for an accident can be strengthened if you find some "official" support for your conclusion.
If the police came to the scene of your accident, particularly if they knew that someone was injured, they probably made a written accident report. Ask the traffic division of the police department how to get a copy.
Sometimes a police report plainly states an officer's opinion that someone violated a specific traffic law and that the violation caused the accident. It may even state that the officer issued a citation. Other times, the report merely mentions negligent behavior, without plainly stating that the violation caused the accident.
Regardless of how specific it is, any mention in a police report of a traffic law violation or careless driving by another person can serve as great support in showing that the other person was at fault.
State Traffic Laws
Another place to look for support for your argument that the other driver was at fault is in the state laws that govern driving. These rules of the road are contained in each state's statutes and are usually known as the vehicle code, especially when it comes to large trucks.
If you're involved in certain kinds of accidents, the other driver is at fault 99% of the time, and insurance companies hardly bother to argue about it.
If someone hits you from behind, it is virtually never your fault, regardless of why you stopped. A basic rule of the road requires a vehicle to be able to stop safely if traffic is stopped ahead of it. If it cannot stop safely, the driver is not driving as safely as the person in front.
The other sure-fire part of the rear-end accident claim is that the damage proves how it happened: If one truck's front end is damaged and the other's rear end is, there can't be much argument about who struck whom. Of course, the driver of the truck that hit you may have a claim against someone who caused you to stop suddenly, or against a third truck that pushed his truck into yours, but that doesn't change his or her responsibility for injuries to you and damage to your truck.
Is the truck driver always at fault in a rear end collision?
Keep in mind, however, that even if you have been rear-ended, in a few circumstances your own carelessness may reduce your compensation under the rule of "comparative negligence." A common example is when one or both of your brake or tail lights were out, especially if the accident happened at night. Another example is if you had mechanical problems but failed to do all you could to move the vehicle off the road.
A truck making a left turn is almost always liable for a collision with a vehicle coming straight in the other direction. Exceptions to this near-automatic rule are rare and difficult to prove, but they can occur if:
- The car going straight was going well over the speed limit.
- The car going straight went through a red light.
- The left-turning truck began its turn when it was safe, but something unexpected made it slow down or stop. This is an extremely difficult exception to use because a basic rule of the road says a truck making a left turn must wait until it can safely complete the turn before moving in front of oncoming traffic.
As with a rear-end collision, the location of the damage on the truck sometimes makes it difficult for the driver to argue that the accident happened in some way other than during a left turn.
You don't have to "prove" to an insurance adjuster that you were careful, but think about what you were doing and describe it clearly so that an insurance adjuster will understand that you were not careless. At the same time, if you believe you have incurred injury, then we strongly suggest you take a moment to contact a truck accident attorney. If you were involved in a collision with a large truck and you sustained injuries, we can help. Bisnar Chase personal injury lawyers have more than 30 years of experience settling cases and going to trial.
Call 949-203-3814 for a No-Hassle, No-Obligation Free Case Consultation.