Commercial truck accidents can be devastating for the drivers and passengers of other vehicles. In approximately three-fourths of the fatal traffic accidents involving large trucks, the victims are occupants of other vehicles. Non-fatal large truck accidents also injure thousands of people each year. Most people believe if they are involved in a commercial truck accident that the trucking company and its insurance provider will pay their medical bills, lost wages, and other damages.
Unfortunately, these companies aggressively fight truck accident claims to reduce the amount of money they must pay to settle the claim. In many cases, teams of investigators begin searching for evidence the companies can use to reduce liability, even to the point of blaming the accident victim for his or her injuries.
Accident victims need an experienced Sacramento truck accident attorney to fight for their right to recover full compensation. Our attorneys can help protect you from the tactics used by these companies, including the use of comparative negligence to reduce or eliminate payment to a truck accident victim.
What is Comparative Negligence?
Each state has laws related to comparative negligence or contributory negligence. It is a legal theory of evaluating the role of each party in a traffic accident. If a driver contributed to the cause of the crash, a percentage of fault is assigned to that driver. In some car crashes, one driver may be 100 percent at fault for the collision. However, there are cases in which two or more drivers contributed to the crash. Therefore, one driver could be 60 percent at fault, and the other driver is 40 percent at fault for the collision.
The laws of comparative negligence or comparative fault determine whether an accident victim can recover compensation for damages. It also determines if the accident victim can recover full compensation or if the compensation is reduced.
If a trucking company or its insurance provider believes it can convince a jury that you are partially at fault for the truck accident, it could substantially reduce the amount of money it must pay to you. Therefore, you need to contact a Sacramento truck accident attorney immediately to protect your rights and avoid being taken advantage of by a trucking industry insurance provider.
What is California’s Comparative Negligence Law?
California’s comparative negligence law is not as harsh as some states. In some states, if an accident victim contributed to the cause of the crash by even one percent, the victim is barred from recovering any money from the other driver. Some states use a 50 or 51 percent rate to bar accident victims from recovering any money if they are partially at fault for the wreck.
California uses a pure comparative fault standard. Your percentage of fault reduces the amount of compensation you can receive in a car accident claim. However, because California uses a “pure” contributory fault system, you could theoretically be 99 percent at fault for the crash and still receive one percent of the compensation of your damages.
In a truck accident claim, damages are usually very high. Therefore, if the company can convince a jury you are even 30 percent at fault, you could lose thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Call a Sacramento Truck Accident Attorney for a Free Consultation
Call The Tiemann Law Firm at (916) 999-9000 to schedule your free consultation with an experienced Sacramento truck accident lawyer.