Big Rig Accidents

Attorney John Christopher Maples has recovered millions on behalf of drivers of commercial trucks and those people injured by the driver's of commercial trucks. as a result, he has a unique understanding of the rights and responsibilities of commercial truck drivers.    

Car crashes are harrowing experiences, but those involving commercial tractor trailers are even more terrifying. Compared to typical passenger vehicles, truck crashes statistically tend to lead to more costly and deadly accidents. To drive an 18-wheeler, you need special certifications and must follow specific rules when operating them. Obtaining a commercial driver’s license in California also (and understandably) entails extensive safety training.

Big rig drivers should follow proper safety practices at all times, so if you or a loved one experienced an accident involving a commercial vehicle, you probably want to know who, if anyone, is legally responsible for your damages, medical bills and your lost productivity.

In any personal injury case, the plaintiff must prove that someone’s negligence or carelessness indirectly or directly caused them harm. Depending on the nature of the truck accident, interestingly, the driver may not be the only party responsible.

Immediate investigation and securing all available evidence is the key to a successful claim when so-called "Big Rig" trucks are involved. Attorney John Christopher Maples teams with some of the best Accident Investigators and Accident Reconstructionists in the state to make your claim rock solid.         


Proving Liability in a Big Rig Accident

To file a successful claim for damages, you must prove the other party owed you a duty of care, failed to fulfill that duty, and thus was a substantial factor in causing your injuries. Tractor trailer accidents happen for a number of reasons, and they are not always solely the driver’s fault. Some of the most common causes include:

  • Truck Driver negligence or carelessness, including distracted driving, driving under the influence, rushing to meet delivery deadlines or traveling while too tired to safely operate a vehicle. In such a case, either driver (and owner) could be to blame. The company that hired the driver and failed to vet or train him or her could also be held responsible for damages.
  • Defective trucking hardware or improper maintenance. In this type of case, the trucking company, maintenance team or manufacturer or designer of truck part components could be liable.
  • Unbalanced loads or other cargo-related problems. In this case, the company and team that loaded the cargo or established protocols for loading or shipping could be to blame.
  • Bad road conditions, such as poor signage or unclear lane paint, could be to blame. The government agency responsible for maintaining safe roads could be called to task.
  •  Car driver negligence or carelessness, including distracted driving, cutting off the commercial truck, not allowing the truck enough braking distance when changing lanes in front of truck driver, driving in blind spots. Attorney John Christopher Maples has recovered millions for commercial truck drivers who were injured by the negligence of others.        

As you can see from this list, the commercial truck driver may or may not be at-fault, even if he or she superficially seemed to be solely responsible. There’s often more to these cases than meets the eye, and only a detailed forensic investigation can answer critical questions about fault.

Seek Competent Counsel

California follows a comparative negligence law, meaning all parties involved in an accident may claim damages based on their level of fault in a collision. If you drove unsafely near a big rig, talked on a cellphone, drove distractedly or otherwise contributed to the incident, the defense could argue that you partially were at fault and thus reduce your compensation. Either way, it makes sense to immediately contact attorney John Christopher Maples to properly investigate and pursue your claim before time runs out.