San Francisco news reports that the trucking company that hired a trucker responsible for a 2011 crash with an Amtrak train may be required to pay damages in excess of $5 million. The crash killed six people and injured dozens. In 2012, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) determined that the wreck was most likely the result of driver error – that the trucker was inattentive, had a history of speeding, and driving a tractor-trailer with faulty breaks.
After a federal jury determined that the driver was at fault and awarded $4.5M in a negligence trial, and the judge may add an additional $1M in fees.
The verdict will go toward covering property damage to the trains in addition to medical costs for employees and passengers. Separate wrongful death trials stemming from this accident are pending.
Accidents involving trucks raise several significant legal questions. For example, while here the driver has been found to blame for the accident, the company that hired him may also be implicated. In such situations the truck company itself could be held negligent for hiring a driver with a poor driving record, or for allowing a driver that has been cited for reckless driving to continue driving its truck and putting others at risk.
The truck company may also be responsible for failing to maintain its trucks in good working order. Knowingly allowing trucks on the road that have faulty breaks may constitute negligent conduct. Additionally, in certain situations the manufacturer of defective truck parts, such as faulty breaks, may be found liable and responsible to pay damages where an accident results. As the result, whenever personal injuries arise as the result of a truck accident, consulting with an experienced San Francisco truck accident lawyer is crucial to ensure all possible avenues of recovery are explored.
For more information concerning California truck accidents, or if you or a loved one has been injured in any type of personal injury accident, please contact the top California personal injury lawyers at Bostwick & Peterson, LLP for an immediate consultation.