Determining Liability in a DC Truck Accident Case
A truck accident claim is handled just like a car accident claim in the District of Columbia or in the surrounding Metropolitan area. After accepting the case and getting all the required information, and investigating the facts, the plaintiff’s attorney would put the at-fault party on notice of the claim.
If it is a private party or that operates the truck or owns the truck, their insurer would respond. The plaintiff’s attorney would make sure that the property damage is resolved and send medical bills and records and lost wage documentation to the truck insurer when the time comes.
If the truck is operated by the District of Columbia or the government entity, then notice requirements are different and sometimes kind of complicated. Additionally, determining liability in a DC truck accident case can be challenging without legal guidance. It is best to retain the services of a seasoned and experienced attorney. Roger Gelb understands liability and can help you hold a negligent truck accountable for their actions.
Who Could Be Held Liable For An Accident?
Whoever is negligent in an accident would be held liable. Negligence is proven by showing certain elements as defined by courts. If there is a duty, a breach of that duty, and then that breach causes an injury or damages, then they have negligence. They have four elements: duty, breach, causation, and damages. On long trucking hauls, fatigued driving accidents are among the most common. Moreover, in the winter months, icy roads can play a role.
A vehicle driver in a car accident case or truck accident case has a duty to control their vehicle to avoid colliding. If they breach that duty and collide with somebody and that collision causes an injury, then there’s negligence on the part of the person who caused the accident, and a successful personal injury claim for negligence can be pursued.
Is DC A Contributory Or a Comparative Negligence Jurisdiction?
Most jurisdictions in the country are comparative negligence but not true in Washington, DC, which is a contributory negligence jurisdiction. If a plaintiff is considered to be one percent or more involved in an accident, in the District of Columbia, they are barred from recovery based on contributory negligence law.
There are a number of factors that would be considered to show contributory negligence. For example, if the plaintiff was speeding or partially at fault for causing the accident, they would potentially bar them from recovery.
Who Regulates The Trucking Industry In The United States?
In the United States, the United States Transportation Authority regulates the trucking industry. However, in DC, the District of Columbia Motor Vehicle Department would be responsible for local accidents within the city in regulating trucking.
How Does The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Come Up With Their Regulatory Standards?
The administration relies on the input of experts to regulate trucking standards. However, there is influence by lobbyists that represent trucking companies, insurance carriers, and even the plaintiff’s lawyers to an extent. For example, the insurance administration may want less regulation or want certain regulation that requires that all trucks have a flexible front bumper. The idea being that when there is an impact with another vehicle with minimal property damage, that does not mean that there are not significant injuries. Their goal is not necessarily to reduce injuries, although that is a byproduct goal, their goal is to reduce the amount of physical property damage, which makes a claim potentially less valuable to the plaintiff.
What Kinds Of Insurance Coverage Must Be Obtained By Trucking Companies?
Trucking companies, like any motor vehicle to follow the jurisdiction’s minimal statutory limits for insurance coverage. In the District of Columbia, there is a $25,000.00 policy. That would be the minimum requirement. However, because trucks are often operated by large commercial corporations, they would normally, under most circumstances, have significantly more coverage than the statutory minimum requirement.
Let a Truck Accident Attorney Help You Seek Compensation
Just like the trucking company, you should seek legal help following a truck accident. The driver of the vehicle and the trucking company could be held liable, and they would have a duty to defend his insurer and indemnify the driver. The legal team at Gelb & Gelb P.C. understands the laws and has handled cases involving trucks. A seasoned lawyer could provide crucial help, such as determining liability in a DC truck accident case and help you get the compensation you need. Call today to get started on your case.