It would be reasonable to expect that anyone driving a multiple-ton commercial truck would pay extra close attention to their surroundings at all times while behind the wheel—and to be fair, most truck drivers do just that without a problem. Unfortunately, if a trucker does let themselves get distracted while driving, the results can be catastrophic for anyone else unlucky enough to be caught in that multi-ton truck’s path.
Distracted driving truck accidents in Rialto make for uniquely complicated civil cases, as evidence supporting recovery is often a lot more subjective than that in other types of truck crash claims. With help from a knowledgeable and dedicated truck accident attorney, though, you should have much better chances of proving liability for your injuries and seeking appropriate civil restitution through a court ruling or out-of-court settlement.
Does Distracted Driving Count as Legal Negligence?
The basic definition of legal negligence has four components:
- Breach of duty
Since every truck driver has a responsibility to drive carefully and obey traffic laws, most personal injury claims stemming from truck accidents focus on proving that the driver did something reckless or careless that directly caused the plaintiff’s losses.
In many cases, negligence takes the form of an explicit violation of an established traffic law like speeding, improper turning, or running a stoplight or stop sign. Some forms of distracted driving are expressly illegal under California state law as well—for example, California Vehicle Code §23123.5 prohibits any motor vehicle driver from reading, writing, or sending text messages while driving under any circumstances, as well as from using a non-hands-free mobile device while driving except in emergency situations.
However, an action or failure to act does not have to have a specific state law associated with it to qualify as reckless or careless under the circumstances. If a truck driver causes a distracted driving truck crash in Rialto because they were eating or drinking, switching the radio station, reaching for something inside the cab, or even just daydreaming, they could be considered negligent and therefore liable for ensuing injuries.
Evidence That Could Help Prove a Trucker Was Distracted
Of course, proving a truck driver responsible for an accident can be a little tricky without a police report indicating a specific traffic violation on the trucker’s part. Instead of relying on documentary evidence of negligence, truck wreck lawyers working on distracted driving cases in Rialto often seek out other information to show exactly what distracted a defendant truck driver and how that distraction led to someone else getting hurt.
Depending on the circumstances, relevant evidence could include surveillance footage from nearby security cameras, dashcam footage from inside the truck in question, reports from people who witnessed the crash, and records of the defendant’s driver cell phone communications. In many cases, testimony from an accident reconstruction expert could help establish what likely led to an incident and who was primarily to blame for it occurring.
Seek Help from a Rialto Attorney After a Distracted Driving Truck Accident
No matter what a truck driver was doing that led to them taking their eyes off the road, any accident that results from their negligence is inexcusable. Truck drivers can and should be held to a high standard of behavior given the size and weight of their vehicles, and if you got hurt because a trucker failed to meet that standard, you may be able to seek significant compensation from them, their employer, or their insurance provider.
However, getting positive outcomes in claims based on distracted driving truck accidents in Rialto can be very difficult to manage alone. If you want to give yourself the best chance of case success, contacting a seasoned truck accident lawyer should be first on your list of priorities.