California residents who are involved in a truck accident should know that such accidents normally arise for one of five reasons. The first is driver error, and this cuts both ways. In fact, studies show that as much as 81% of all truck crashes involving driver error can be pinned on passenger vehicle drivers, not truckers. It’s no secret, though, that truckers, pressed as they are by deadlines. often drive drowsy or speed.

The second common cause is bad weather. If a truck skids, hydroplanes or jackknifes on a wet, icy or snowy road, then the trucker most likely was not trained on proper braking techniques. Third, truckers may neglect the rules that surround vehicle maintenance. They must inspect their rig before every shift. Failing to do this, they only raise the risk for a crash by wearing down their brake pads and other components.

Equipment failure is a factor in many accidents, though this is often due less to lack of maintenance than to negligence on the part of manufacturers that make defective parts. Companies that sell trucks with defective parts may also be held liable for not identifying these parts.

Lastly, there are rules regarding the loading and securing of cargo. If cargo is not secured properly, it may spill out onto the road.

Whatever the circumstances of the crash, it may open the way for a personal injury case if victims are shown not to be at fault for it. Of course, negotiating for a settlement on one’s own may not be a good idea, because trucking companies have a legal team that can fight aggressively against injury claims. With a lawyer, victims may be able to build up evidence against the defendant and achieve a fair settlement out of court. Victims may litigate if all other options fail.