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Truck accidents can happen when and where you least expect them

A big rig traveling under control at highway speed is an instrument of commerce. But because of its size and weight, if the driver loses control then that same vehicle can quickly turn into a fearsome battering ram on wheels. This is effectively what happened in Pacoima, California, when a big rig suddenly left the freeway it was traveling on and careened down an embankment and onto an off-ramp.

The momentum of the truck was such that it caused a chain reaction that went beyond the off-ramp and onto an intersecting city street. Along the way it knocked two cars off on the onramp, then hit a pickup truck, killing one of its occupants; police are not sure which of these passenger vehicles was in turn pushed into a nearby moving dump truck, causing it to go out of control and crash as well.

Although at the time of the news account no criminal charges had been filed in connection with the accident, its nature, a commercial truck leaving the freeway and causing a multi-car collision, suggests that at some point a negligence-based lawsuit could arise with multiple plaintiffs and at least two possible defendants: the truck driver and perhaps his employer if he was not working as an independent contractor.

The accident itself is possibly not the only chain reaction to occur after the truck driver’s loss of control. Other potential questions of negligence could involve the maintenance of the vehicle, the training of the driver, and even the design of the freeway.

Every accident involving two or more vehicles needs to be investigated not only be law enforcement but also by personal injury attorneys in the event that legal claims follow, so that issues of causation, injury, and relative duties of care can be assessed. Complex accidents such as this one that involved trucks and other vehicles can be particularly challenging to ascertain the facts of, and any potential plaintiff would be well advised to retain a personal injury law firm with experience in car and truck accident cases.

Source: Los Angeles Daily News, "1 killed in crash involving 2 big rigs, several other cars in Pacoima," Gregory J. Wilcox, April 17, 2015

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Law Offices of William W. Green & Associates
505 S. Villa Real
Anaheim, CA 92807

Phone: 714-464-6903
Toll Free: 866-543-7598
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